Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Terms used on the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base.

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Term Definition
Safety duplication

A duplicate of a base collection stored under similar conditions for long-term conservation but at a different location to insure against accidental loss of material from the base collection.


A part of a population used to estimate the characteristics of the whole.


Slovak Agricultural Research Centre -Research Institute of Plant Production Slovakia


Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture


Scarification which allows water and gases to penetrate into the seed, include methods that physically break the hard seed coats or soften them by chemicals. Means of scarification include soaking in hot water or poking holes in the seed with a pin or rubbing them on sandpaper or cracking with a press or hammer. Soaking the seeds in solvents or acids is also effective for many seeds. Sometimes fruits are harvested while the seeds are still immature and the seed coat is not fully developed and sown right away before the seed coat become impermeable. Under natural conditions seed coats are worn down by rodents chewing on the seed, the seeds rubbing against rocks (seeds are moved by the wind or water currents), by undergoing freezing and thawing of surface water, or passing through an animal's digestive tract. In the latter case, the seed coat protects the seed from digestion, while often weakening the seed coat such that the embryo is ready to sprout when it gets deposited (along with a bit of fertilizer) far from the parent plant. Microorganisms are often effective in breaking down hard seed coats and are sometimes used by people as a treatment, the seeds are stored in a moist warm sandy medium for several months under non-sterile conditions. (Definition from

Seed viability

The capacity of seeds to germinate under favourable conditions.

Select. Amplified Microsatellite Polymorphic Locus

(SAMPL) A variation of the AFLP technique that amplifies microsatellite loci by using a single AFLP primer in combination with a primer complementary to compound microsatellite sequences which do not require prior cloning and characterization.

Selective neutrality

The state in which genetic variation is influenced only by random processes.


Transfer of pollen (pollination) from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same flower or sometimes to that of a genetically identical flower (as of the same plant or clone) The ability of many plant species to naturally and successfully fertilize within one individual. Also called Autogamy.


To fertilize by means of pollen from the same plant.

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Sources for this glossary: IPGRI Tech. Bulletin 10: Molecular markers for genebank management and Seed handling in genebanks training course
Glossary open source software by M. Brampton

International Agricultural Research Centres who worked together to make this site possible:
Africa Rice Center | Bioversity International | CIAT | CIMMYT | CIP | ICARDA | ICRISAT | IFPRI | IITA | ILRI | IRRI |

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