Seeds from four continents

Seeds from 54 dfferent crops from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia were deposited in the Seed Vault on the 31st of October.

ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas) who was the first gene bank to withdraw seeds from the Seed Vault, was among the seed depositors also this time. ICARDA is carrying out a comprehensive schedule for multiplying withdrawn seed accessions, and their deposit this week was actually their third deposit consisting of new fresh seeds of previously deposited, withdrawn and multiplies seed. In total 11411 accessions from ICARDA units both in Lebanon and Morocco was shipped to Svalbard at this occasion.

Long lasting South-African – Nordic cooperation

Another major seed shipment came from the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) in Zambia. In total 16 countries in Southern Africa are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), from Tanzania and Angola southwards to South Africa. The gene bank headquarter is located in Lusaka, Zambia.

Seeds from the SPGRC gene bank have arrived in the Seed Vault and Seed Vault coordinator Åsmund Asdal is preparing for bringing the 32 seed boxes into the shelves.

The seed shipment fraom SPGRC was the second seed deposit from SPGRC, and it consisted of 1600 seed samples of 10 different crops originating from 13 countries, most of them SADC member states. NordGen has long experience in cooperation with SADC, as  the Centre began as a 20 year project with technical and financial assistance from, at that time, the Nordic Gene Bank and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The SPGRC seed deposit was supported by Crop Trust.

Czeck Crop Research Institute documentation officer Ludmila Papouskova and gene bank manager Vojtech Holubec prepared two seed boxes for Seed Vault deposit in 2018.

Landraces from Czeck Republic

One other depositor in October was the Crop Research Institute (CRI) in Czeck Republic located in Ryzyne outside Prague, shipping seeds for the second time, The 362 accessions consisted of a broad range of species within cereals, vegetables, fodder crops and grasses, many of them landraces and old cultivars from the Czech Republic.

University of Warwick, hosting the United Kingdom Vegetable Genebank (UKVGR), deposited seeds for the first time.

Tuber crops and wild relatives

The International potato center (CIP) in Peru is definetely among the most experienced Seed Vault depositors, as they at this occasion deposited samples of 77 different tuber species and subspecies of genera Solanum (potato) and Ipomoea (sweet potato). In total the six gene banks deposited 14,045 accessions of more than one hundred species at this Seed Vault opening, increasing the total number of current seed samples conserved in the Vault to 983,524.