Seed bank

A seed bank (also seedbank or seeds bank) stores seeds to preserve genetic diversity; hence it is a type of gene bank. There are many reasons to store seeds. The genes that plant breeders need to increase yield, disease resistance, drought tolerance, nutritional quality, taste, etc. of crops. Another is to forestall loss of genetic diversity in rare or imperiled plant species in an effort to conserve biodiversity ex situ. Many plants that were used centuries ago by humans are used less frequently now; seed banks offer a way to preserve that historical and cultural value. Collections of seeds stored at constant low temperature and low moisture are guarded against loss of genetic resources that are otherwise maintained in situ or in field collections. These alternative "living" collections can be damaged by natural disasters, outbreaks of disease, or war. Seed banks are considered seed libraries, containing valuable information about evolved strategies to combat plant stress, and can be used to create genetically modified versions of existing seeds. The work of seed banks spans decades and even centuries. Most seed banks are publicly funded and seeds are usually available for research that benefits the public.

Seedbank at the USDA Western Regional Plant Introduction Station

Storage conditions and regeneration

Seeds are living creatures and keeping them viable over the long term requires adjusting storage moisture and temperature appropriately. As they mature on the mother plant, many seeds attain an innate ability to survive drying. Survival of these so-called 'orthodox' seeds can be extended by dry, low temperature storage. The level of dryness and coldness depends mostly on the longevity that is required and the investment in infrastructure that is affordable. Practical guidelines from a US scientist in the 1950s and 1960s, James Harrington, are known as 'Thumb Rules.' The 'Hundreds Rule' guides that the sum of relative humidity and temperature (in Fahrenheit) should be less than 100 for the sample to survive 5 years. Another rule is that reduction of water content by 1% or temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit will double the seed life span. Research from the 1990s showed that there is a limit to the beneficial effect of drying or cooling, so it must not be overdone.

Understanding the effect of water content and temperature on seed longevity, the Food and Agriculture division of the United Nations and a consultancy group called Bioversity International developed a set of standards for international seed banks[1] to preserve seed longevity. The document advocates drying seeds to about 20% relative humidity, sealing seeds in high quality moisture-proof containers, and storing seeds at -20 degrees Celsius. These conditions are frequently referred to as 'conventional' storage protocols. Seeds from our most important species - corn, wheat, rice, soybean, pea, tomato, broccoli, melon, sunflower, etc.—can be stored in this way. However, there are many species that produce seeds that do not survive the drying or low temperature of conventional storage protocols. These species must be stored cryogenically. Seeds of citrus fruits, coffee, avocado, cocoa, coconut, papaya, oak, walnut and willow are a few examples of species that should be preserved cryogenically.

Like everything, seeds eventually degrade with time. It is hard to predict when seeds lose viability and so most reputable seed banks monitor germination potential during storage. When seed germination percentage decreases below a prescribed amount, the seeds need to be replanted and fresh seeds collected for another round of long-term storage.[2]


  • Knowing what to store in a seed bank is the greatest challenge. Collections must be relevant and that means they must provide useful genetic diversity that is accessible to the public. Collections must also be efficient and that means they mustn't duplicate materials already in collections.
  • Keeping seeds alive for hundreds of years is the next biggest challenge. Orthodox seeds are amenable to 'conventional' storage protocols but there are many seed types that must be stored using nonconventional methods. Technology for these methods is rapidly advancing; local institutional infrastructure may be lacking.


In-situ conservation of seed-producing plant species is another conservation strategy. In-situ conservation involves the creation of National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges as a way of preserving the natural habitat of the targeted seed-producing organisms. In-situ conservation of agricultural resources is performed on-farm. This also allows the plants to continue to evolve with their environment through natural selection.

An arboretum stores trees by planting them at a protected site.

A less expensive, community-supported seed library can save local genetic material.[3]

The phenomenon of seeds remaining dormant within the soil is well known and documented (Hills and Morris 1992).[4] Detailed information on the role of such “seed banks” in northern Ontario, however, is extremely limited, and research is required to determine the species and abundance of seeds in the soil across a range of forest types, as well as to determine the function of the seed bank in post-disturbance vegetation dynamics. Comparison tables of seed density and diversity are presented for the boreal and deciduous forest types and the research that has been conducted is discussed. This review includes detailed discussions of: (1) seed bank dynamics, (2) physiology of seeds in a seed bank, (3) boreal and deciduous forest seed banks, (4) seed bank dynamics and succession, and (5) recommendations for initiating a seed bank study in northern Ontario.


Seeds may be viable for hundreds and even thousands of years. The oldest carbon-14-dated seed that has grown into a viable plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at the palace of Herod the Great in Israel.[5]

In February 2012, Russian scientists announced they had regenerated a narrow leaf campion (Silene stenophylla) from a 32,000-year-old seed. The seed was found in a burrow 124 feet (38 m) under Siberian permafrost along with 800,000 other seeds. Seed tissue was grown in test tubes until it could be transplanted to soil. This exemplifies the long-term viability of DNA under proper conditions.[6]

Climate Change

Conservation efforts such as seed banks are expected to play a greater role as climate change progresses.[7]. Seed banks offer communities a source of climate-resilient seeds to withstand changing local climates.[8]. As challenges arise from climate change, community based seed banks can improve access to a diverse selection of locally adapted crops while also enhancing indigenous understandings of plant management such as seed selection, treatment, storage, and distribution.[9]


Plant tissue cultures, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, USDA
Plant tissue cultures being grown at a USDA seed bank, the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.

There are about 6 million accessions, or samples of a particular population, stored as seeds in about 1,300 genebanks throughout the world as of 2006.[10] This amount represents a small fraction of the world's biodiversity, and many regions of the world have not been fully explored.

  • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been built inside a sandstone mountain in a man-made tunnel on the frozen Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the Svalbard archipelago, about 1,307 kilometres (812 mi) from the North Pole. It is designed to survive catastrophes such as nuclear war and world war. It is operated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The area's permafrost will keep the vault below the freezing point of water, and the seeds are protected by 1-metre thick walls of steel-reinforced concrete. There are two airlocks and two blast-proof doors.[11] The vault accepted the first seeds on 26 February 2008.
  • The Millennium Seed Bank housed at the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building (WTMB), located in the grounds of Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, near London, in England, UK. It is the largest seed bank in the world (longterm, at least 100 times bigger than Svalbard Global Seed Vault),[12] providing space for the storage of billions of seed samples in a nuclear bomb proof multi-story underground vault.[12] Its ultimate aim being to store every plant species possible, it reached its first milestone of 10% in 2009, with the next 25% milestone aimed to be reached by 2020.[12] Importantly they also distribute seeds to other key locations around the world, do germination tests on each species every 10 years, and other important research.[12][13]
  • The Australian Grains Genebank (AGG) is a national center for storing genetic material for Plant breeding and research. The Genebank is in a collaboration with the Australian Seed Bank Partnership on an Australian Crop Wild Relatives project. It is located at Grains Innovation Park, in Horsham, Victoria, Australia, and was officially opened in March, 2014 The primary reason for the bank to be created was the extreme temperatures in the area, up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer time. Because of that they had to ensure the protection of the grains all year around. The Genebank aims to collect and conserve the seeds of Australian crop wild species, that are not yet adequately represented in existing collections.
  • The former NSW Seedbank focuses on native Australian flora, especially NSW threatened species. The project was established in 1986 as an integral part of The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. The NSW Seedbank has collaborated with the Millennium Seed Bank since 2003.[14] The seed bank has since been replaced as part of a major upgrade by the Australian PlantBank.
  • Nikolai Vavilov (1887–1943) was a Russian geneticist and botanist who, through botanic-agronomic expeditions, collected seeds from all over the world. He set up one of the first seed banks, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), which survived the 28-month Siege of Leningrad in World War II. It is now known as the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry. Several botanists starved to death rather than eat the collected seeds.
  • The BBA (Beej Bachao Andolan — Save the Seeds movement) began in the late 1980s in Uttarakhand, India, led by Vijay Jardhari. Seed banks were created to store native varieties of seeds.[15]
  • National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation,[16] Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
  • Desert Legume Program (DELEP) focuses on wild species of plants in the legume family (Fabaceae), specifically legumes from dry regions around the world. The DELEP seed bank currently has over 3600 seed collections representing nearly 1400 species of arid land legumes originating in 65 countries on six continents. It is backed up (at least in part) in National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The DELEP seed bank is an accredited collection of the North American Plant Conservation Consortium.[17]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hong, T.D. and R.H. Ellis. 1996. A protocol to determine seed storage behaviour. IPGRI Technical Bulletin No. 1. (J.M.M. Engels and J. Toll, vol. eds.) International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy. ISBN 92-9043-279-9 [1]
  3. ^ "Nurturing plant legacies: Two groups lend seeds and plants to gardeners".
  4. ^ Hills, S.C.; Morris, D.M. 1992. The function of seed banks in northern forest ecosystems: a literature review. Ont. Min. Nat. Resour., Ont. For. Res. Instit., Sault Ste. Marie ON, For. Res. Inf. Pap., No. 107. 25 p.
  5. ^ National Geographic
  6. ^ Frier, Sarah (2012-02-20). "32,000-Year-Old Plant Reborn From Ancient Fruit Found in Siberian Ice". Bloomberg.
  7. ^ Griffiths, Kate (April 2015). "Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks". Conservation Biology. 29 (2).
  8. ^ Maharjan, Shree (February 2018). "Roles and contributions of community seed banks in climate adaptation in Nepa". Development in Practice. 28 (2).
  9. ^ Vernooy, Ronnie (April 2017). "The roles of community seed banks in climate change adaption". Development in Practice. 27 (3).
  10. ^ Rajasekharan, P. E. (2015-01-01). "Gene Banking for Ex Situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources". In Bahadur, Bir; Rajam, Manchikatla Venkat; Sahijram, Leela; Krishnamurthy, K. V. (eds.). Plant Biology and Biotechnology. Springer India. pp. 445–459. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2283-5_23. ISBN 9788132222828.
  11. ^ Work starts on Arctic seed vault
  12. ^ a b c d Drori, Jonathan (May 2009). "Why we're storing billions of seeds". TED2009. TED (conference). Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  13. ^ UK Millennium Seed Bank Project Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2012-10-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Save the Seeds Movement of the Uttarakhand Himalayas, India Archived June 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ National Center for Genetic Resources Preservatio Archived November 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Desert Legume Program (DELEP) | Home".

Further reading

External links

Australian Grains Genebank

The Australian Grains Genebank (AGG) is a national center for storing genetic material for plant breeding and research. The Genebank is in a collaboration with the Australian Seed Bank Partnership on an Australian Crop Wild Relatives project. It is located at Grains Innovation Park, in Horsham, Victoria, Australia.

Berry Botanic Garden

Berry Botanic Garden was a botanical garden in southwest Portland, Oregon, in the United States. In addition to large collections of alpine plants, rhododendrons, primulas, and lilies, it was known for its plant-conservation program and its large seed bank that protects rare or endangered plants of the Pacific Northwest. The seed bank, formally established in 1983, was thought to be the first in the U.S. that was devoted entirely to preserving rare native plants.

The garden, created in the 1930s by Portland resident Rae Selling Berry, was bought after her death in 1976 by The Friends of Berry Botanic Garden, a nonprofit corporation. Managed by a Board of Directors, the Berry estate had an area of 6.5 acres (26,000 m2), and contained the largest public rock garden on the West Coast.In January 2010, The Berry Botanic Garden Board of Directors announced plans to sell the property and close the garden because of funding problems. The property was sold in February 2011, and in November 2011 the BBG conservation program and seed bank, now known as the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program, completed the transfer to the Environmental Science and Management Program at Portland State University.

Canopy seed bank

A canopy seed bank or aerial seed bank is the aggregate of viable seed stored by a plant in its canopy. Canopy seed banks occur in plants that postpone seed release for some reason.

It is often associated with serotiny, the tendency of some plants to store seed in a cone (e.g. in the genus Pinus) or woody fruits (e.g. in the genus Banksia), until seed release is triggered by the passage of a wildfire.

It also occurs in plants that colonise areas of shifting sands such as sand dunes. In such cases, the seed is held in the canopy even if the canopy becomes buried; thus the seed is anchored in place until good germination conditions occur.

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a Canadian river delta wetland and Wildlife Management Area near Creston in south-central British Columbia, on the floodplain of the Kootenay River at the south end of Kootenay Lake. Predominantly marshland, it was classified as a wetland of international importance on February 21, 1994, and is also a globally significant Important Bird Area. It is one of the "few significant agricultural areas of the province", and is in the Montane Cordillera. It stretches north along Kootenay Lake for approximately 20 km, and south to the United States border. It is both the only breeding site of the Forster's tern and the only site with leopard frogs in the province, as well as one of the few Canadian habitats for the Coeur D'Alene salamander. Creston Valley provides staging and nesting areas for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.It covers an area of approximately 69.0 km2 of provincial Crown land. The wetland also contains the 15 km2 Duck Lake and 17 marshes. To the east are the Purcell Mountains and to the west the Selkirk Mountains.

The area is managed by the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area to prevent invasive species from establishing themselves in the wetland, particularly targeting cattails or reed canary grass. This is done by periodically drawing down the water level of the marshes. According to Brian Stushnoff, the area's manager, a strategy exists "to rehabilitate areas that get choked with vegetation, drying them up and then ploughing up the ground to get rid of the seed bank that develops over time." This also ensures broad biodiversity by preventing one plant species from dominating the region.

Dana Larsen

Dana Albert Larsen (born April 14, 1971) is a Canadian author, politician and cannabis rights activist.

Larsen was the editor of Cannabis Culture magazine from its creation in 1994 until 2005, producing 54 issues with publisher Marc Emery, who now also serves as editor.Larsen was a founding member of both the Marijuana Party of Canada and the BC Marijuana Party. In the 2000 Canadian federal election, Larsen ran as the Marijuana Party candidate for the riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, receiving 3% of the vote. In the 2001 British Columbia provincial election, Larsen ran as a BC Marijuana Party candidate in the Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding, receiving 3.5% of the vote.After the 2001 election, Larsen became the Leader of the BC Marijuana Party. In 2003, Larsen resigned from both Marijuana parties and joined the New Democratic Party.In 2005, Larsen founded a group called "End Prohibition, NDP Against the Drug War." Larsen has since claimed that End Prohibition has been instrumental in passing drug-policy resolutions through the provincial NDP in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.In 2006, Larsen co-founded the Vancouver Seed Bank, a business which sells many seed varieties from their storefront and also across Canada by mail-order, including those for banned and controversial psychoactive plants such as marijuana, poppies, peyote and coca.In 2007, Larsen released a book called Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone, a pot-laden Harry Potter parody published and distributed across North America by Cannabis Culture Magazine. He is also the author of the Pot Puzzle Fun Book, released in 2000, the editor of Grow Like a Pro, a marijuana growing guide released in 2004, and the creator of The Tokers Bowl Board Game.In 2008, he was the federal New Democratic Party candidate for the riding of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country for the 2008 election, however, he resigned on September 17, after videos he had filmed for Pot-TV in 1999 were released to the media, which showed him taking LSD and smoking marijuana.In November 2008, Larsen announced the opening of the Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary, located almost next door to the Vancouver Seed Bank. The cannabis dispensary is operated by a non-profit society of which Larsen is a Director. In July 2010, the cannabis dispensary opened a second location, located in Vancouver's West End.Larsen also serves as a Director of The Always Growing Green Society, which in May 2010 opened the TAGGS medicinal cannabis dispensary in Maple Ridge, BC.On December 29, 2010, Larsen announced his candidacy for the leadership of the British Columbia NDP. He came in fourth with 2.7% of the vote.In September 2012, Larsen launched the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize cannabis possession in BC through a referendum. The campaign had 4000 volunteers gather 202,085 signatures in 90 days, from September 9 to December 9, 2013. Although not enough to qualify for a referendum, it was the second-highest total ever gathered for a BC referendum effort.

Gene bank

Gene banks are a type of biorepository which preserve genetic material. For plants, this could be by in vitro storage, freezing cuttings from the plant, or stocking the seeds (e.g. in a seedbank). For animals, this is the freezing of sperm and eggs in zoological freezers until further need. With corals, fragments are taken which are stored in water tanks under controlled conditions. Plant genetic material in a 'gene bank' is preserved at -196° Celsius in Liquid Nitrogen as mature seed (dry) or tissue (meristems).

Accession is the common term given to an individual sample in a gene bank, such as a distinct species or variety.

In plants, it is possible to unfreeze the material and propagate it, however, in animals, a living female is required for artificial insemination. While it is often difficult to use frozen animal sperm and eggs, there are many examples of it being done successfully.

In an effort to conserve agricultural biodiversity, gene banks are used to store and conserve the plant genetic resources of major crop plants and their crop wild relatives. There are many gene banks all over the world, with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault being probably the most famous one.The database of the largest gene banks in the world can be queried via a common website, Genesys.

Kingdom of Plants 3D

Kingdom of Plants 3D is a natural history documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, which explores the world of plants. It was filmed over the course of a year at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

The series premiered on 26 May 2012 on the Sky 3D network in the UK, with a 2D simulcast on Sky Atlantic HD. An IMAX cinema release is also planned.

Each of the three episodes explores a different aspect of plant life. "Life in the Wet Zone" explains how plants first colonised wet and humid environments, "Solving the Secrets" explores plant reproductive techniques and "Survival" shows how plants continually adapt to their environments. The series also goes behind the scenes of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Project.The series makes use of multiple camera formats and employs live action, time-lapse, high-speed, infrared, macro and micro photography to bring its subjects to life. Some of these techniques were pioneered in 3D for this series.

Kingdom of Plants 3D is Attenborough's first 3D television series, and follows his two earlier films in the format; Flying Monsters 3D (2010) and The Bachelor King 3D (2011). The same production team went on to produce Galapagos 3D, broadcast in 2013.

A companion iPad app to the series was released on 23 May 2012, using video and imagery from the series to provide a virtual tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Of the app, Attenborough commented "You can swipe your finger across the tablet to make a plant flower and, not only that, put it back again; it’s quite fun."

Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP or MSB), formerly known as the Millennium Seed Bank Project, is an international conservation project coordinated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. After being awarded a Millennium Commission grant in 1995, the project commenced in 1996, and is now housed in the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building situated in the grounds of Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Its purpose is to provide an "insurance policy" against the extinction of plants in the wild by storing seeds for future use. The storage facilities consist of large underground frozen vaults preserving the world's largest wild-plant seedbank or collection of seeds from wild species. The project had been started by Dr Peter Thompson and run by Paul Smith after the departure of Roger Smith. Roger Smith was awarded the OBE in 2000 in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to the Project.In collaboration with other biodiversity projects around the world, expeditions are sent to collect seeds from dryland plants. Where possible, collections are kept in the country of origin with duplicates being sent to the Millennium Seed Bank Project for storage. Major partnerships exist on all the continents, enabling the countries involved to meet international objectives such as the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The seed bank at Kew has gone through many iterations. The Kew Seed Bank facility, set up by Peter Thompson in 1980, preceded the MSBP and was headed by Roger Smith from 1980 to 2005. From 2005, Paul Smith took over as head of the MSBP. The Wellcome Trust Millennium Seed Bank building was designed by the firm Stanton WIlliams and opened by Prince Charles in 2000. The laboratories and offices are in two wings flanking a wide space open to visitors housing an exhibition, and also allowing them to watch the work of cleaning and preparing seeds for storage through the large windows of the work areas. There is also a view down to the entrance to the underground vaults where the seeds are stored at −20 °C (−4 °F). In 2001, the international programme of the MSBP was launched.

In April 2007, it banked its billionth seed, the Oxytenanthera abyssinica, a type of African bamboo.

In October 2009, it reached its 10% goal of banking all the world's wild plant species by adding Musa itinerans, a wild banana, to its seed vault. As estimates for the number of seed bearing plant species have increased, 34,088 wild plant species and 1,980,405,036 seeds in storage as of June 2015 represent over 13% of the world's wild plant species.

Musa itinerans

Musa itinerans, the Yunnan banana, is a species of banana. The tender inner stalk is also harvested and eaten. It is the landmark 24,200th plant species saved at Kew Gardens' Millennium Seed Bank Project. With this addition the seed bank has collected 10% of the world’s wild plant species. The endangered M. itinerans is native to China and is an important food for wild Asian elephants.

Nevil Schoenmakers

Nevil Martin Schoenmakers was an Australian-born cannabis breeder known for founding the first cannabis seedbank, which was called "The Seed Bank of Holland", in the early 1980s in the Netherlands. This was also the first seed company to advertise directly to the public in High Times magazine.


Pavlovsk may refer to:

Pavlovsk Palace, a residence built by Emperor Paul I near St. Petersburg, Russia

Pavlovsk Urban Settlement, an administrative division and a municipal formation which the town of Pavlovsk in Pavlovsky District of Voronezh Oblast, Russia is incorporated as

Pavlovsk (inhabited locality), several inhabited localities in Russia

Pavlovsk, former name of the city of Mariupol, Ukraine

Pavlovsk Experimental Station, an agricultural experiment station and seed bank near St. Petersburg, Russia

Ralph Ferguson

Ralph Ferguson, (born September 13, 1929) is a Canadian farmer and former politician.

Ferguson is a farmer in south-western Ontario, and co-founder of the Lambton Pork Producers Association. In the late 1950s, he was chairman of the Lambton County Egg Producers.

He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1980 federal election as the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Lambton--Middlesex.

Fergurson served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of State for Small Businesses and Tourism from 1980 to 1982, Deputy Government Whip from 1982 to 1984, and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance from March to June 1984.

When John Turner succeeded Pierre Trudeau as Liberal leader and Prime Minister of Canada, he brought Ferguson into the Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, succeeding long-time Trudeau Agriculture minister Eugene Whelan.

Ferguson's cabinet career was short-lived, however, as both he and the Turner government were defeated in the September 1984 federal election.

As a backbench MP, Ferguson participated in several trade missions as an advocate of export market expansion. He also played a role in the creation of the Canadian Agricultural Export Corporation or CANAGREX, a crown corporation formed in 1983 and disbanded by the Mulroney government in 1987. As minister, he established the first controlled environment seed bank in an effort to protect parent seed stocks.

He was successful in his attempt to return to the House in the 1988 federal election having campaigned strongly against the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. Ferguson did not run in the 1993 federal election, preferring to retire from politics and return to the farm where he has been an active conservationist. He is also an environmentalist and advocate for renewable energy.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (brand name Kew) is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 723 staff (FTE). Its board of trustees is chaired by Marcus Agius, a former chairman of Barclays.

The organisation manages botanic gardens at Kew in Richmond upon Thames in southwest London, and at Wakehurst Place, a National Trust property in Sussex which is home to the internationally important Millennium Seed Bank, whose scientists work with partner organisations in more than 95 countries. Kew, jointly with the Forestry Commission, founded Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent in 1923, specialising in growing conifers. In 1994 the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, which runs the Yorkshire Arboretum, was formed as a partnership between Kew and the Castle Howard Estate.In 2018 the organisation had 1,858,513 public visitors at Kew, and 354,957 at Wakehurst. Its 326-acre (132 ha) site at Kew has 40 historically important buildings; it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 3 July 2003. The collections at Kew and Wakehurst Place include over 28,000 taxa of living plants, 8.3 million plant and fungal herbarium specimens, and 30,000 species in the seed bank.

Seed bank (disambiguation)

A seed bank is a repository of preserved seeds.

Seed bank may also refer to:

The store of viable plant seed in an ecosystem; for example:

Soil seed bank, the viable seed present in the soil

Canopy seed bank, the viable seed stored in the canopy of a serotinous tree or shrub

Soil seed bank

The soil seed bank is the natural storage of seeds, often dormant, within the soil of most ecosystems. The study of soil seed banks started in 1859 when Charles Darwin observed the emergence of seedlings using soil samples from the bottom of a lake. The first scientific paper on the subject was published in 1882 and reported on the occurrence of seeds at different soil depths. Weed seed banks have been studied intensely in agricultural science because of their important economic impacts; other fields interested in soil seed banks include forest regeneration and restoration ecology.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. Conservationist Cary Fowler, in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), started the vault to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds that are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to ensure against the loss of seeds in other genebanks during large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Crop Trust and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen).The Norwegian government entirely funded the vault's approximately 45 million kr (US$8.8 million in 2008) construction. Storing seeds in the vault is free to end users, with Norway and the Crop Trust paying for operational costs. Primary funding for the Trust comes from organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from various governments worldwide.

University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden

The University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden (Danish: Botanisk have), usually referred to simply as Copenhagen Botanical Garden, is a botanical garden located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. It covers an area of 10 hectares and is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses dating from 1874.

The garden is part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, which is itself part of the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science. It serves both research, educational and recreational purposes.

Wakehurst Place

Wakehurst, previously known as Wakehurst Place, is a house and botanic gardens in West Sussex, England, owned by the National Trust but used and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is near Ardingly, West Sussex in the High Weald (grid reference TQ340315), and comprises a late 16th-century mansion and a mainly 20th-century garden, and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, in a modern building. Visitors are able to see the gardens, the mansion, and also visit the seed bank. The garden today covers some 2 square kilometres (500 acres) and includes walled and water gardens, woodland and wetland conservation areas.

RBG Kew has leased the land from the National Trust since 1965 and much has been achieved in this time, from the Millennium Seed Bank project and the creation of the Loder Valley and Francis Rose Nature Reserves to the introduction of the Visitor Centre, the Seed café and Stables restaurant along with the development of the gardens.

Wakehurst Place is listed Grade I on the National Heritage List for England, and its gardens are listed Grade II* on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.The stables are listed Grade II* and the South Lodge and gateway is listed Grade II.

Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank

The Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank is located within Christy Woods, an 18-acre (73,000 m²) property located on the southwest corner of the Ball State University campus in Muncie, Indiana, United States. The orchid collection is the largest college maintained collection in the United States.


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