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Non-living factors that influence plant growth, function and survival (for example, soil, water, amount of sunlight, nutrients, etc.).


A collection occurring within one plant population at one location that may be collected over several consecutive days. In botanical garden databases, an accession is given a unique number that can be tracked through time.


Harden off a plant so that it can survive under low humidity conditions.


capable of genetic change by natural selection.

adaptive monitoring plan

Long-term plan for measuring attributes such as survival, growth, and reproduction of a reintroduced population that can evolve or change when answers to initial questions (or hypotheses) are met and new questions arise across time.


Interbreeding between two or more previously isolated populations, sometimes resulting in introducing foreign or unadapted genes.

adventitious shoot

A shoot that arises from a point that is not the shoot tip (for example a bud at a leaf axil).


DNA found on one location on a chromosome that corresponds to a trait. Depending upon the plant and the number of paired chromosomes it has, one- to- many alleles may be responsible for traits related to appearance, chemistry, or growth. In genetic tests, the number of unique alleles is one measure of genetic diversity.

ambient conditions

The relative humidity and temperature of the room. When processing seeds for long-term storage, it is a good idea to check the room temperature and humidity. Seeds will have best chance for long-term survival if processed at temperatures below 25oC. Humidity levels can be taken below ambient levels when using a desiccator.

apical meristem

Growing tissues at the tip of a shoot.

artificial selection

The process of modifying organisms by selection in breeding controlled by humans (for example, choosing a plant with numerous fruits and removing low fruit-producing plants in a breeding program will artificially select for fruit production).


In plants a form of reproduction that does not involve pollen or flowers and therefore new individuals formed by this method have the same genetic makeup (unless unusual mutations occur). Types of asexual reproduction in plants include producing corms or bulbs (as in lilies) or producing roots along a stem that gets buried (as in willows).


A plant hormone that causes the elongation of cells in shoots and is involved in regulating plant growth.

axillary bud

A bud that grows from the axil of a leaf or node and has the potential to form stems and branches with leaves or reproductive shoots with flowers.

axillary shoot

The stem that grows from an axillary bud at the axil or base of a leaf.

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