Center for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO

Genetic Resources

Conservation of Tea

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries operates the “Gene Bank Project” aiming at conserving and propagating seeds and plants which are materials for developing new plant varieties. NCSS serves as one of sub-banks to the central national gene bank of National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) (hereinafter referred to as "the Central Bank") in the “Gene Bank Project”. NCSS conserves germ plasms of potatoes, fruit trees, tea trees, industrial crops, etc. and investigates characteristics of the plants with the purpose of collecting necessary data for fully utilizing them as genetic resources.

NCSS also multiplies the seeds which are conserved at the Center Bank to renew and replenish them in the “Gene Bank Project”.
Major activities for genetic resources

  • Conservation of vegetative crops
    There are much difficulty for the Central Bank to conserve vegetative crops with their facilities, because vegetative crops need large area of field for conservation. Therefore, conservation of such vegetative crops is entrusted to NCSS with utilizing large area of fields at its stations according to climate conditions.
  • Examination of characteristics
    Examination of characteristics of plant genetic resources collected and conserved by the Central Bank is very important activity of the “Gene Bank Project”, because breeding of new plant varieties can not be done successfully without data of characteristics of material plants. NCSS conducts characteristic examination of plants conserved in close cooperation with the Central Bank.
    • 1. Primary characteristics: morphological characteristics necessary for identifying strains
    • 2. Secondary characteristics: tolerance to pests and diseases, tolerance to lesions, maternal characteristics and other characteristics, which are important for the usage of breeding materials
    • 3. Tertiary characteristics: characteristics such as productivity and content of specific components
  • Remultiplication of seeds
    The plant genetic resources, namely seeds in the Central Bank and the sub-banks are necessary to be regularly remultiplied because their amount decreases after distibution based on request by research institutes and their germination rate decreases during strage. NCSS remultiplies seeds of wheat, barley, beans, etc. in close cooperation with the Central Bank.

Number of genetic resources conserved, remultiplication and characteristics examined

No. of germplasms conserved 9,851 10,060 10,077 10,321 10,518 10,705 10,808 10,935 11,144 11,301 11,138 11,185 11,235
Seed remulti-
591 774 802 820 929 878 885 680 901 816 636 633 744
No. of charac-
teristics examined
23,935 25,324 24,484 26,335 25,290 23,953 23,456 20,171 21,754 20,054 14,355 10,652 11,916

1) The number of characteristic examined contains primary,secondary,tertiary characteristics.
2) The number of characteristic examination represents that of strains (including variety confirmation until 1996) and that of examined items in and after 1998.