Germplasm Resources Unit

The JIC Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU) is a national capability curating thousands of current and historic seeds (termed ‘germplasm’) from agricultural crops and other plants in an environmentally-controlled environment.

The GRU helps to support key BBSRC strategic objectives relating to food security through sustainable crop production. The GRU is actively engaged in promoting access to extensive adaptive variation, thereby facilitating the study of evolution, domestication and biotic and abiotic stresses in some of our major food crops and their wild relatives.

The conservation, maintenance and provision of verified, well characterised germplasm resources are essential in underpinning the UK and international bioscience community and related industries. The GRU’s resources are central in providing the necessary genetic variation for plant scientists and are a vital resource for breeders for screening for novel traits and adaptive variation for use in crop improvement. 

The GRU represents the most comprehensive collection of UK small grain cereal germplasm, in addition to the John Innes pea collection. We also house a growing number of specialist genetic stocks collections of key strategic relevance to the UK biosciences community. 

The main public germplasm collections curated by the GRU have been formally registered as part of the Multilateral System of the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture operated under the auspices of the FAO.

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