Currently being updated
New crop cultivars are continually developed and released. In addition, the methods for development of new cultivars are changing. Recent advances in biotechnology (molecular genetics) promise to add significant diversity to current crop germplasm. These advancements have led to an increasing dilemma for breeders, the seed industry, certification agencies, and seed enforcement individuals in their attempt(s) to assure maintenance of genetic integrity for these improved agricultural products. Traditional approaches utilizing plant morphological traits have proven limiting and often fail to provide the speed of identification essential for the movement of seed in commerce. As a result, there is a greater need to explore alternative methods to characterize crop cultivars.
This AOSA Cultivar Purity Testing Handbook is, in part, a response to that request. This Handbook collates cultivar purity information from various sources into one common reference. As with any Handbook, continuing research, development, and refinements in testing techniques are expected to culminate in new test methodologies and present test revisions. To accommodate these modifications, this Handbook has been prepared in loose-leaf format so that new sections can be added when appropriate. Color photographs are presented to depict differences among cultivars. Color slides of these same traits are also available from the AOSA Secretary.