(Mirror Daily, United States) – Earlier this week, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault welcomed some new residents. About 50,000 new samples were added to the existing seeds collection. These will be safeguarded against any natural or man caused disaster.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank. It is situated on the Spitsbergen island, in Norway. Its closest neighbor is Longyearbyen, housed by the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago. This is just some 810 miles away from the North Pole.
This is the world’s largest seed depository. And its purpose is very clear. It is meant to safeguard and preserve a large variety of plant seeds. These latter are all duplicate seeds. Their brothers and sisters reside in other gene banks from all around the word.
The purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and every other seed bank is to protect. And they also basically serve as the last protection barrier for these plant species. The seed bank should act and preserve them in case of regional, national, or worldwide crises. These can be anything from natural disasters to man-related catastrophes.
The fact that there is more than just one seed bank is also a protective measure. It is meant to ensure the continuation of the plant species. Even if one of the banks losses its seeds or gets destroyed, for some reason.
And now, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault received new seed samples. About 50,000 new specimens were brought in earlier this week. The new samples come from collections spread across the globe.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was constructed almost 10 years ago. It was built and opened underground this almost Arctic island. This in itself is situated in a permafrost zone. The gene bank was opened back in 2008. And it serves as a master backup plan.
It will act as a last possible resource. And according to the plan, it should be used only under very specific conditions. More exactly, if all the other seed banks lose their deposits.
The latest samples sent to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault include some interesting specimens. This shipment came with over 15,000 reconstituted samples. These came back from the International Center for Agricultural Research.
Back in 2015, they were the first to retrieve seed samples from the arctic vault. And in their place, the research center returned new samples. These are based on the original seed. A center scientists team multiplied and then reconstituted them.
This international research center set out with a specific target. They are focusing on improving the local agriculture in dry regions.
The reconstituted and returned seed contained samples of some of the most usual food sources. And at the same time, some of the most vital. For example, they included potato seeds, as well as rice and wheat ones. Barley, chickpea, lentil, and sorghum are also present on this list.
Aly Abousabaa released a statement on February 23rd. He is the International Center for Agricultural Research Head. According to him, the reconstituted samples mark a success. They showed that it is possible to reconstitute plant specimens based solely on their seeds.
Which may one day, unfortunately, become a vital element. The process also showed that it was possible to find solutions to pressing challenges. Be they on a regional or global level.
The International Center for Agricultural Research had to borrow seeds due to a regional crisis. This rendered them unable to access their own seed vault. Which also once again demonstrates the need for more than just one such gene vault.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has a capacity of about 4.5 million deposits. Its latest 50,000 samples addition came on February 22nd. And it brought its current number of samples to 940,000.
The recently shipped samples came from all over the world. They were shipped from the United States, Mexico, India, Benin, Lebanon, and Pakistan. And also from Britain, the Netherlands, Belarus, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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