Seed is important
Good seed makes good crop. New variety would bring profit to its breeder and society. These are the main missions of the Center for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO (NCSS).
Plant Breeder's Right (PBR) is granted to a breeder of a new plant variety. If you propagate a variety which PBR is granted for commercial use, authorization of its breeder is required. NCSS carries growing test for a candidate variety to examine its distinctness from any other varieties, uniformity and stability of the variety which are main requirements of PBR. We also prepare the test guidelines for examination in conjunction with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Guidelines. We also provide services for dealing with infringement of PBR.
NCSS has another mission concerning seed inspection and production of foundation seeds, potato tubers, and sugarcane seedlings.
1. The first is seed inspection. It is difficult to know quality of seeds (for example, germination rate, disease free or not) by its appearance. NCSS checks the quality of seeds in laboratory/field and issues certifications. We have received accreditation for seed testing from the International Seed Testing Association.
2. The second is production of foundation seeds. Potato is easily damaged by diseases. NCSS produces disease free and healthy foundation seeds using variousl methods including tissue culture technology in laboratory and plant netting in field. Local governments propagate foundation seed to stock seeds, then farmers' associations propagate stock seeds to commercial seeds which is planted by farmers (3 steps propagation system). All potatoes grown in Japan originate from the foundation seeds of NCSS. Farms for producing foundation seeds are located in rural areas to avoid invasion of diseases from outside.
The NCSS headquarter is located in Tsukuba and there are 12 stations nationwide from Hokkaido to Okinawa. We grow crops and flowers in order to achieve the missions above which lead to the improvement of productivity and quality of agricultural crops. NCSS became a member of NARO in April, 2016.
Center for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO