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SEED BANKS in botanic gardens: in botanic gardens: present and future César Gómez-Campo, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain.

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Presentation on theme: "SEED BANKS in botanic gardens: in botanic gardens: present and future César Gómez-Campo, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain."— Presentation transcript:

1 SEED BANKS in botanic gardens: in botanic gardens: present and future César Gómez-Campo, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, Spain

2 1966 (UPM) A seed bank of wild Crucifers was started in the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) by 1966 At that time only five seed genebanks existed in the World, all devoted to crop species..

3 Naufraga balearica Echium aculeatum Artemisia granatensis Erodium paularense Soon after, the UPM bank scope was extended to include rare or endemic species of the West Mediterranean region.

4 Las Palmas Madrid B.G.Sóller CórdobaBlanes In the 70s and 80s the number of seed banks devoted to wild species boomed. They were mainly installed in botanical gardens. The photo shows a few exam- ples from Spain. Similar banks were also created in the UK (Kew), Italy (Palermo), Germany (Berlin) and France (Porquerolles)

5 Seed banks devoted to wild species in the West Mediterranean region Alcalá de Henares (Spain)Wild plants of Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha. Botanical Garden Blanes (Girona, Spain) Medicinal plants, Androcymbium. Botanical Garden Córdoba (Spain) Threatened Andalousian Flora; plants of ethnobotanical interest. Botanical Garden Las Palmas (Canarias, Spain) Threatened Canarian Flora. Botanical Garden Lisboa (Portugal) Portuguese Flora. Instituto de Agronomía Madrid (Spain) Endemic plants of the Iberian Peninsula ; Cruciferae in general. Universidad Politécnica Madrid (Spain) Wild Spanish Flora. Botanical Garden Málaga (Spain)Local and ornamental plants. J. Botánico de la Concepción) Palermo (Italy) Sicilian Flora. Botanical Garden Pisa (Italy) Peninsular Flora. Botanical Garden Porquerolles (France) Flora of SE France and Corsica. Conservatoire Botanique Sóller (Mallorca, Spain) Flora of the Balearic Islands. Botanical Garden Valencia (Spain) Flora of the E and SE of the Iberian Peninsula. Botanical Garden

6 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

7 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

8 In other words: a seed bank … for what? To preserve the seeds produced every year by the garden trees? It has not much meaning indeed. To preserve seeds of the annual or biennial species grown in the garden? It might have some more meaning. To preserve threatened species growing in the region? It is obvious that it would be very meaningful. Specialised collections (taxonomic, etc.) may also be very useful for prospective users.

9 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

10 Coordinating bodies are many: regional, national, continen- tal, international. Just in project or developed. Some are only indirectly related to the banks through their gardens or institu- tions. Someones refer to crop species. The situation is not bad though coordination should never mean homogenisation. Perhaps only the exchange of seed duplicates is much behind a desirable situation. BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) IABG (International Association of Botanical Gardens) AIMJB (Ibero-Macaronesian Association of Botanical Gardens) REDBAG (Spanish Network of Germ Plasm Banks for Wild Plants) ENSCONET (European Native Seed Conservation Network) BioCASE (Biological Collections Access Service for Europe) GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) EPGRIS (European Plant Genetic Resources Information Service) etc.

11 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

12 A tentative scale on which to select priorities: Endemic, threatened or rare species (local, regional or national). Taxonomic specialisation in a genus, a family, etc. Ecological specialisation, as in halophytes, succulents, alpine, etc. Utilitary specialisation: aromatics, medicinal, etc. Underutilised or abandoned crops. Wild species promisory for domestication. Wild relatives of crop species. Autoctonous flora of a country or region. Flora of a country or region, in general. Flora of the botanical garden: anuals, biennials, etc. Flora of the botanical garden: perennials.

13 PHYTOGENETIC RESOURCES modern cultivars breeding lines land races underutilised crops abandoned crops cultivated wild promising species wild relatives of crops of direct use potentially useful (all) threatened species The economic world of phytogenetic resources and the world of pure conservation can be linked through this scale.

14 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

15 Main destinations of Crucifer germplasm distributed by the UPM seed bank To assess the impact of seeds distributed by a genebank is difficult in general but easier for a specialised collection as that of UPM Crucifers. Red circles show the main places where these seeds have been used more fructiferously. Mole- cular studies in Canada, Germany and Spain, citogenetics and cancer research in the UK, taxonomy in Spain, inter- specific crosses and use of cytoplasmic male sterility in India and Japan, etc.

16 Alborán Island (S. Spain) A primary objective of genebanks (germplasm preservation) is here exemplified by the case of the Crucifer Diplotaxis siettiana. The species lived exclusively in this illet, where it disappeared by Fortunately, some seeds had been collected and stored in the UPM bank in That collection was crucial to save the species from extinction. Black-box collections exclusively aimed at the future might contribute to save other species.

17 THE FUTURE of SEED BANKS of WILD SPECIES SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. To improve the definition of their aims, priorities and responsabilities. 2. To improve the coordination among themselves. 3. To emphasize the sense of urgency associated to the conservation of endangered species. 4. To ensure an efficient future use of the stored material. 5. To improve seed preservation procedures to a maximum in order to minimize regeneration.

18 REGENERATION brings: - Unwanted crossings. - Unwanted selection. - Reduction in genetic variability. - Possibility of mis-labelling and other mistakes..... and consumes : - Time, labour, space, money, etc. For wild species, to re-collect in the wild might be better than to regenerate by cultivation!

19 ( above ). Only these four containers (10%) proved to be completely hermetic to water vapour after 7 years of observation. ( right ). Representative containers of all other thirty-six (90%) allowing moisture intake after periods between 2 months and 3 years. Some are still used in many seed genebanks. see details in: Defficient moisture control is most often behind failures in seed preservation.

20 LOW TEMPERATURES must be OBTAINED and MAINTAINED LOW MOISTURES must be OBTAINED and MAINTAINED Thank you for your attention! and … long life to your seeds! In short …


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