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Crop Biotech Update

World Vegetable Center Sends Seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

May 26, 2021
Photo Source: World Vegetable Center
The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg), an international agricultural research institute with headquarters in Shanhua, Taiwan, has sent more than 11,700 samples of 48 vegetable species from Taiwan to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the long-term seed storage facility is designed to protect the world's agricultural diversity and heritage.

WorldVeg maintains the world's largest public collection of vegetable seeds and has been an active participant in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault since its founding in 2008. According to WorldVeg Genebank Manager Dr. Maarten van Zonneveld, WorldVeg has 17,736 seed samples already stored in the vault. This shipment brings the number to 29,507 samples or 45% of their total collection. WorldVeg aims to have at least 90% of its active collection in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault by 2025.

The Svalbard Seed Vault follows "black box" agreements with depositors such as WorldVeg. Only depositors can access and use the seed stored in their boxes. The seed is not touched without permission from the depositor and is returned on request should the original collection be lost or destroyed. "It's up to us to ensure the seed we send to Svalbard is of high quality," said van Zonneveld. "We monitor seed viability and regenerate and replace seed as it ages."

For more details, read the article in WorldVeg News.

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