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Saving Genetic Diversity in Seed Banks

In the U.S., most corn crops are hybrids. Jim Holland, Ph.D., discusses how the genetic diversity of the modern corn crop is considerably narrower than open-pollinated crops, and farmers must buy new seed every year from seed companies.

Published onAug 11, 2022
Saving Genetic Diversity in Seed Banks
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Abstract

In the U.S., most corn crops are hybrids. Jim Holland, Ph.D., discusses how the genetic diversity of the modern corn crop is considerably narrower than open-pollinated crops, and farmers must buy new seed every year from seed companies. Scientists who recognized implications of hybridization began systematically collecting seeds from open-pollinated varieties, classifying them and storing them in seed banks that require strict environmental conditions to maintain viable seeds. There are ongoing efforts to explore and reclaim the food culture surrounding corn in the Southeastern U.S.

Holland received a bachelor’s in biology from Johns Hopkins, a master’s in plant breeding and plant genetics from University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate in crop science from NC State University. Holland is a USDA-ARS Research Geneticist located at NC State, researching the genetic diversity and breeding of corn.

Saving Genetic Diversity in Seed Banks (Jim Holland)

This video was originally produced for an audience of entering first-year and transfer students at NC State University as a part of an interdisciplinary experience. It is available for noncommercial reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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