Protecting the genetic integrity of Alaska's flora

Green thumbs everywhere are itching to dig into the garden. Most of us buy seeds in little packets from the store and these are usually produced by hybrid plants. But the U. S. Department of Agriculture wants to protect the genetic integrity of some food producing plants, so its National Genetic Resources Program collects and preserves what is called germplasm — the stuff that’s necessary to regenerate a plant. And a group of researchers here is making sure that some of Alaska’s common flora, like rhubarb, are being preserved for research into sub-Arctic farming of the future.

Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage