From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Seed Vaults
Mains level : Preservation of native plant varities
- Till date 1597 plants varieties have been registered with Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers Right Authority and certificates of registration have been issued.
National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
- ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi is conserving seed germplasm for long-term conservation (at -20°C) in its National Genebank (NGB).
- NGB has the responsibility of conservation of plant genetic resources for posterity and sustainable use including landraces and traditional varieties which are potential sources of agriculturally important genes.
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India’s seed bank at Chang La
- At Chang La in the Himalayas, at a height of 17,300 feet, there is a storage facility with over 5,000 seed accessions.
- One accession consists of a set of seeds of one species collected from different locations or different populations.
- The vault is a joint venture of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (under ICAR) and the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (under DRDO).
- When a seed needs to be stored for few years, maintaining it at just 10 degree Celsius is enough.
- But in the long run, for 10 to 20 years, they need to be kept at a minus 15 to minus 20 degree Celsius (range).
- Chang La has a prevalent temperature in this sub-zero range.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
- It is a facility located on a remote Norwegian island in the Arctic Ocean and it houses the world’s largest collection of seeds.
- The seeds can be of use in the event of a global catastrophe or when some species is lost due to natural disasters. It is therefore also referred to as the doomsday vault.
- The storage rooms are kept at −18 °C (−0.4 °F). The low temperature and limited access to oxygen will ensure low metabolic activity and delay seed aging.
- The samples stored in the genebanks are accessible in accordance with the terms and conditions of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, approved by 118 countries or parties.