Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Terms used on the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base.

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Term Definition
Geographic Information Systems

(GIS) A set of computer software designed to capture, organize, store, and analyze geographically referenced (spatial) information.


The biological process that leads to the development of a seedling from a seed. Radicle emergence is the first visible sign of germination but may be followed by no further growth or by abnormal development. According to ISTA rules only seedlings showing normal morphology are considered to have germinated.

Germination test

A procedure to determine the percentage of seeds that are capable of germinating under a given set of conditions.


The genetic material that forms the physical basis of heredity and that is transmitted from one generation to the next by germ cells.


Genetically modified organisms


Genetic Resource Centre for Temperate Pasture Legumes, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (website)


A single set of chromosomes (half the full set of genetic material), present in each egg and sperm cell of animals and in each egg and pollen cell of plants (Gk. haploos, single). (cf. Diploid)


A specific allelic constitution at a number of loci within a defined linkage block.

Hard seeds

Seeds that fail to imbibe and germinate when placed in a moist medium because they are impermeable to water.

Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

The stable frequency distribution of genotypes AA Aa and aa in the proportions p??? 2pq and q??? respectively (where p and q are the frequencies of the alleles A and a) that is a consequence of random mating in the absence of mutation migration natural selection or random drift.

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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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