Authors: Claire H. Luby, Irwin L. Goldman

Publisher: PLOS Biology


For millennia, seeds have been freely available to use for farming and plant breeding without restriction. Within the past century, however, intellectual property rights (IPRs) have threatened this tradition. In response, a movement has emerged to counter the trend toward increasing consolidation of control and ownership of plant germplasm. One effort, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI,, aims to ensure access to crop genetic resources by embracing an open source mechanism that fosters exchange and innovation among farmers, plant breeders, and seed companies. Plant breeders across many sectors have taken the OSSI Pledge to create a protected commons of plant germplasm for future generations.

Copyright: © 2016 Luby, Goldman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Illustration Photo: 16 New Inbred Lines of Lettuce released by the USDA lettuce breeding program at salinas, California, USA. USDA lines are released into the public domain and are freely available for us in hybrid cultivar development or breeding. No requirement are placed on derivatives. (Credit: USDA)


No comments to display.