Gene Libraries
Living conditions on our planet are changeable. Decades of dry or cold and wet periods were before and can happen again. There were also invasions of pests or plant diseases. Under such circumstances, breeders need to make quick replacement of varieties with more resistance. To create them, it is necessary to keep on seeds that are resistant to various adverse factors. So the collection of seeds of such samples is an airbag necessary for the survival of humanity.

The gene bank is a special place for the conservation of plant genetic resources of major agricultural crops and their wild relatives. Most of the samples are contained as seeds. The idea of collecting plants is not new. It appeared after several years of crop failure and hunger at the end of the nineteenth century in tsarist Russia. Then new varieties which are resistant to drought and other cataclysms were needed. The Bureau of Applied Botany was founded in 1894. It searched for material that was supposed to help breeders. It collected varieties of food crops and their wild counterparts. Seeds are the most transportable, compact and unpretentious condition of plants. And first gene banks for seeds storage were born.

In the future it is necessary to save the diversity of species of animals and plants, landscapes and ecosystems. The conservation of biodiversity is not only a direction of nature conservation, but an integral part of life. It is not enough to carry out traditional nature conservation work. For example, according to National Geographic, about 90% of historical fruit and vegetable varieties in the United States have disappeared. The trend is the same in other regions. Gene banks can preserve seeds for future generations. They will enable the study and creation of a collection of natural wild species of living organisms. Gene bank is a future global asset of unique knowledge about species of living organisms. Science will benefit from it for the development of conservation policy around the world.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are implementing such a project. More than 300 British scientists conduct scientific research and create the largest library of genes for wild plants and fungus. In the future the library will become publicly available. The Royal Gardens Community wants humanity not to destroy the planet's biodiversity. We must preserve it and have a common global asset of knowledge about the species of living organisms, collected genes of natural wild species in different parts of the planet in genetic banks.
The Royal Botanic Gardens
Universal Problem
The biodiversity of the plant world decreases. It is a result of natural processes and the destruction of entire landscapes. The adaptive stability of agricultural territories is lost.

The outdated structure of plant and mushroom sciences does not allow for new knowledge to be included.
Solution
Scientific research and creation of a gene library with wild plants and fungi.
Target Image
In the future a publicly available global asset of plants and fungi genes will be created.
Experiment Framework
Gardens were founded on the site of a pharmaceutical garden in 1670 .

Firstly gardens grew somewhat haphazardly. In 1771 the first scientific collector and the botanist Francis Masson was appointed. In 1840 gardens became the national botanical institute.

Now they include a complex of botanical gardens and greenhouses with an area of 132 hectares.

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is an internationally recognized botanical research and training center with 746 employees. The gardens are funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (Defra).

Kew Garden houses one of the world's largest collections of living plants (over 30,000 species). The library contains over 750 thousand tomes and more than 175 thousand plant drawings. In 2003, the gardens were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tools and Technologies
Scaling Plans
  • Expansion of its scientific presence in regions with endangered forests.

  • Volunteer projects: "Citizen Science" and "Grow Wild".

  • Expansion of educational and scientific international programs.
Standards and Values
  • Protection of endangered plants and fungi all over the world.
  • Promotion of new environmentally friendly ways to use plants and mushrooms.
  • Supporting local communities around the world to conserve biodiversity.
  • Passion for studying plants and fungi.
Communities and Leaders
Professor Alexander Antonelli is a Head of Science in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Research is carried out in 100 countries. For diversity conservation programs collaborated with more than 350 scientists and 400 institutions around the world.
Allies
What you can do to join the practice of collecting and storing plant genes now:
Learn about the World Bank Seed Vault in Svalbard.
Take part in the Citizen Science and Grow Wild volunteer projects at the Royal Gardens.
Take part in the Herbarium 2.0 project of Kruzhok movement.
Find partners and start creating a gene bank for your area.