The Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) web server provides germplasm information about plants, animals, microbes and invertebrates important for food and agricultural production. These include lists of currently registered cultivars, historical seed and varietal catalogs, and related resources.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress authorized establishment of a National Genetic Resources Program (NGRP). It is the NGRP’s responsibility to acquire, characterize, preserve, document, and distribute to scientists germplasm of all lifeforms important for food and agricultural production.
The United States contains a broad array of livestock genetic resources that have been used by the livestock industry to improve production efficiency and increase food security. The National Animal Germplasm Program provides genetic security and increased understanding of these livestock populations for industry and research community use. The major components of the program include information systems, genetic evaluation, and cryobiology, as well as the broad array of national and international collaborators that work with the NAGP in acquiring germplasm or tissue samples. These broader connections, like the NAGP Species Committees, are essential for capturing and assessing genetic variability. In addition this program interacts with international organizations in discussing policies concerning animal genetic diversity on a global scale and developing standardized methods for establishing and operating gene banks for livestock species.
There are more than 500,000 accessions (distinct varieties of plants) in the GRIN database. These accessions represent more than 10,000 species of plants. See the Helps and Hints page if you are having trouble getting your results. The GRIN database is managed by the Database Management Unit (DBMU), while the acquisition of plants is managed by the Plant Exchange Office (PEO).
The plant germplasm currently available for distribution is listed by place of collection, and organized using the FAO Multi-Crop Passport Descriptors (MCPD) variable list. [Note: updated to current version MCPD V.2.1, December 2015.]