One of the wheat germplasm bank’s activities is to send duplicates of its accessions to other banks for safekeeping to avoid losing its seed collections in case of man-made or natural disasters.
CIMMYT currently has duplicates of its germplasm collection in three locations: the USDA’s National Plant Genetic Resources Preservation Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), a CGIAR center located in Syria; and the recently constructed Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in Norway.
The last seed shipment this year, containing 76,756 accessions, was sent on 08 December to Fort Collins. In February, 20,769 accessions from the wheat collection were sent to Svalbard, and there are currently 196 boxes containing 76,311 accessions ready to be shipped to ICARDA in January 2010.
There’s no doubt 2009 was a very busy year for the people who work in the wheat germplasm bank; besides their daily operations, they also helped prepare the duplicate shipments. The supervisors in this area recognize the efforts made by each of its team members.
They are also grateful to staff in the seed distribution unit of International Nurseries and the Seed Health Laboratory for their help with the documentation and logistics of the shipments.