Fifty thousand new samples from seed collections around the world have been deposited to the Doomsday Vault, the largest storage built to preserve plant seeds. The deposit is one of the largest since the seed bank was opened almost a decade ago.
The 50,000 samples deposited on Wednesday were from seed collections in Benin, Morocco, Pakistan and Lebanon. India, Netherlands, the US, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus and Britain were also the depositors.
The Doomsday Vault, also known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, was built to secure against the loss of seeds brought by global crises like wars or natural disasters. It is built over 120 meters inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island, Norway.
According to reports, the deposit includes more than 15,000 reconstituted samples from an international research center. It consisted of seed samples for potato, rice, barley, chickpea, lentil, wheat, sorghum and other food sources.
Aly Abousabaa, the head of the International Centre for Agricultural Research, says that borrowing and reconstituting seeds before returning them has been a success. It indicates that it is still possible to solve problems amidst regional and global problems.
The ABC says that the agency borrowed seeds three years ago because they could not access the gene bank of 141,000 specimens in Aleppo, Syria. This did not allow the specimens to be regenerated and distributed to researchers as well as breeders.
Since its official opening in 2008, the vault has received about 940,000 seed samples. These include potatoes, barley, wheat and varieties of rice, which total to nearly 150,000.
All the seed varieties from around the world are present in the Doomsday Vault. Almost all of the nations are represented in it. According to the scientists, preserving the seeds is the answer to guaranteeing crop diversity and food security even during global conflicts. It will also play a vital role in developing climate-resilient crops for future generations.
The ABC also states that Australia’s seeds are contained in bright blue boxes. Overall, the country has deposited around 11,000 seeds. Many were deposited by the Australian Grains Genebank and the Australian Pastures Genebank back in 2014.
The neighbors of the Australian boxes are seeds from Austria. Seeds from ‘Ukraine, India, Russia, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Germany and Peru are also nearby. Even North Korea has deposited seeds. Apparently, their seeds are in two cherry red wooden boxes.