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Crop Biotech Update

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Starts a Century-long Seed Experiment

August 5, 2020
Photo Source: Manuela Nagel, IPK

Five genebanks submit seed stocks for a 100-year long experiment in Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Seeds of wheat, barley, pea, lettuce, cabbage, and nine more crops will be placed into the -18°C seed storage in Svalbard. Samples of the same seeds will also be stored in cryotanks at IPK Gatersleben and then the quality of the seeds will be compared with the material stored in Svalbard over a period of 100 years.

"This experiment is one of its kind. It will provide future generations with valuable information about seed viability and more precise knowledge of how often seeds need to be regenerated", said Åsmund Asdal, Seed Vault Coordinator at Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen), the genebank in charge of the project.

The first experiment seeds will be tested every tenth year until 2120, thus the initial test will be done in 2030. The findings will be released to add knowledge to management routines and guidelines for seed conservation in regular genebanks and long-term conservation of seeds.

Read more from Seed World.

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