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Variety Collections

SASA maintains large collections of varieties for a number of different crops

Vegetables, Swede and Turnip Rape 

Why do we need seed collections?

  1. As a reference collection for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability Tests 
  2. To use specific varieties or lines as examples of character expression
  3. To check the identity of seed entered for Certification

There are 2 types of seed collection:

  1. Definitive Reference Collections
    Maintained for carrying out DUS tests and for providing definitive seed of UK registered cultivars to other statutory authorities.
    Contains currently registered or protected cultivars, candidates submitted for DUS test, genetic lines, example cultivars, and host differentials for disease tests.
  2. Genetic Resource Collections
    Contains commercially obsolete cultivars, heritage cultivars, landraces, wild types and other material which predates the registration system.
    Storage conditions ensure that germplasm is conserved in a condition which maintains viability. Regeneration is only undertaken for cultivated Peas. 

View Beet, Fodder, Oil & Fibre and Vegetable Crops Collections


The section holds material of past and current cereal cultivars, both in frozen and dried states. Material and information is available for most cultivars. This is now online - see SASA Resources box.


SASA maintains information on over 1,000 potato varieties which are also grown in its Reference Collection. Records are held on plant pedigrees, dates of introduction, synonyms, botanical characteristics, disease susceptibility and quality. In addition, SASA acts as co-ordinator of a database of potato varieties held in European collections. The database contains information on 14,000 accessions covering c4,200 unique cultivars and breeding lines and comprises passport and agronomic evaluation data. 

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