Seed Bank

The Plant Germplasm Bank of the University of Pavia (Italy) is based at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Botanic Garden). Our mission is to maintain high levels of agro-biodiversity and preserve the natural environment through ex situ conservation. Our target species are wild and cultivated plants (landraces) that are endangered, useful for Mankind like Crop Wild Relatives (CWR), medicinal plants and species useful for floriculture. Seed collection and conservation activities are carried out following international seed bank standards (i.e. freezing at -18°C, after drying at 15°C and 15% RH), to maximize seed longevity in storage. The seed bank is also equipped with a germination laboratory for base and applied research activities, carried out in partnership with companies and international research centers through Italian and International projects. To further safeguard our seed samples, most of our accessions are duplicates into other seed banks, such as the Millennium Seed Bank (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew UK) which houses more than 10% of the global biodiversity and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, where seeds of crops from all over the world are stored under the polar ice. Our seed bank is part of the European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET Consortium) and participates, as representative for Italy, to the global project of ex situ CWR conservation supported by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Government of Norway.

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