Germplasm banking has two important applications, which differ in their overall aims and therefore in the choice of material to store: GRB for species conservation and maintaining biodiversity, and GRB for rare and traditional breeds to enable the recovery of the breed after a total wipe-out. The aim of the former is to contribute to the conservation of the genetic diversity of a particular species and involves harvesting a wide representation of the genes of the species without consideration of the phenotype. In contrast, GRB for breed conservation aims to store the particular gene combinations that represent the breed most aptly, and therefore selects the best examples for preservation. The key contrast lies in the terms ''diversity'' and ''gene combination''; in the one instance, the desire is to store genetic variations of the representative population in the frequencies in which they occur, and in the second instance, the plan is to preserve a desirable combination of genes representing a particular subpopulation of the species (i.e., breed). Although the techniques are similar, the genetic management is determined by the aims.

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