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The Storage of the First Gene Bank Collection Samples into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

University of Banja LukaGeneral

The Institute of Genetic Resources of the University of Banja Luka has stored on October 18 th, 2016 the first samples from its gene bank collection into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located in Norway.

The Government of the Kingdom of Norway has founded Global Seed Vault in Svalbard in 2008, in order to secure protection and conservation of the plant genetic resources. 

The Seed Vault is located in Longyearbyen, about 1.300 km north, at the Arctic Circle. Gene banks from all over the world are sending their seed samples to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in order to preserve safe and secure long-term storage of material in natural conditions of permanent ice.

The Vault is keeping a dozens of varieties of essential food crops such as beans, cereals and rice. Currently more than 4.000 plant species are stored in the Seed Vault. These seed samples present seed duplicates that are kept in national, regional and international gene banks.

The Institute of Genetic Resources of the University of Banja Luka signed an Agreement on Cooperation with the Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen) on July 1 st , 2016 in order to store safety seed collections. On behalf of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Agreement was signed by the NordGen.

The first stored samples will represent accessions of indigenous varieties and local landraces of cereals and corn. The collection of 326 accessions will be sent to the Global Seed Vault.

Other accessions from the gene bank of the Institute of Genetic Resources will be stored in following period, and the Institute will fulfill one of the basic obligations of insurance of plant genetic resources for present and future generations.

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