germplasm

noun

germ·​plasm ˈjərm-ˌpla-zəm How to pronounce germplasm (audio)
variants or less commonly germ plasm
1
a
: germ cells and their precursors serving as the bearers of heredity
b
: the genetic material of germ cells : genes
There is now a global effort to conserve the genetic material, or germplasm, of important crops.Omar Sattaur
The extraordinary precision and reliability of the replication of the germ plasm during each nuclear division …Ernst Mayr
2
: plant or animal material (such as seeds, pollen, rootstock, or sperm) that is collected and stored chiefly for future use in breeding, conservation, or research
The first U.S. facility for long-term preservation of crop germplasm, the National Seed Storage Laboratory at Fort Collins, CO, began storing collections of all major crops in 1958.Nigel J. H. Smith
Well-managed collections of germ plasm will give plant breeders a broader genetic base for producing new crops with greater resistance to pests, diseases and drought.John P. Reganold et al.

Examples of germplasm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the time, as Stone noted: The specter of the industralization of farming, privatization of germplasm, and eventual depeasantization in developing countries has proved a mighty stimulus to a range of green writers and activists. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 24 Aug. 2014 If species die out before their germplasm can be preserved, their promise will be lost for good. Maryn McKenna, The Atlantic, 16 Sep. 2020 Semen samples were also taken from the bulls and sent to the germplasm bank in Colorado. Maureen O'Hagan, Scientific American, 20 June 2019 For decades, Driscoll’s has been working with the germplasm of the White Carolina, the oldest strawberry cultivar. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'germplasm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of germplasm was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near germplasm

Cite this Entry

“Germplasm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/germplasm. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

germplasm

noun
germ·​plasm ˈjərm-ˌpla-zəm How to pronounce germplasm (audio)
variants also germ plasm
1
a
: germ cells and their precursors serving as the bearers of heredity
b
: the genetic material of germ cells : genes
2
: plant or animal material (as seeds, pollen, or sperm) that is collected and stored chiefly for future use in breeding, conservation, or research
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