In news- Recently the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare inaugurated the world’s second-largest refurbished state-of-the-art National Gene Bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Pusa, New Delhi.
- The refurbished bank will work towards preserving the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations.
- It has the capacity to preserve about one million germplasm in the form of seeds.
- It also seeks to conserve the diversity of indigenous crops in the country.
The Genesis and purpose of National Gene Bank(NGB)-
- Established in 1996, NGB works towards preserving the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations.
- Presently, the bank is protecting 4.52 lakh accessions, of which 2.7 lakh are Indian germplasm and the rest have been imported from other nations.
- National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources is meeting the need of in-situ and ex-situ germplasm conservation through Delhi Headquarters and 10 regional stations across India.
- Primarily, NGB has four kinds of facilities, namely,
- Seed Genebank (- 18°C).
- Cryogene Bank (-170°C to -196°C).
- In vitro Genebank (25°C), and
- Field Genebank.
- These facilities help for long-term as well as medium-term conservation of the indigenous crops namely cereals, millets, medicinal and aromatic plants and narcotics, among others.
Global facilities working towards conserving crops-
- The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway houses the world’s largest collection of seeds.
- India’s seed vault is at Chang La (Ladakh) in the Himalayas. Built in 2010 jointly by the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research and the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, this seed bank is the second largest in the world.
- Established with the objective of conserving the indigenous livestock biodiversity, National Animal Gene Bank is nestled at the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR – Karnal, Haryana), has the objective of conserving the indigenous livestock biodiversity.
National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
- Set up in January 1977, the ‘National Bureau of Plant Introduction’ was renamed as ‘National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources’ (NBPGR).
- It is one of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institutes.