Maize seed samples, CIMMYT germplasm bank
Shelves filled with maize seed samples make up the maize active collection in the Wellhausen-Anderson Plant Genetic Resources Center at CIMMYT's El Batán headquarters, Mexico. The CIMMYT germplasm bank contains around 28,000 unique samples of maize seed—including more than 24,000 farmer landraces; traditional, locally-adapted varieties that are rich in diversity—and 140,000 of wheat, including related species for both crops. The bank both conserves this diversity and makes it available as a resource for breeding. The active collection for meeting requests is kept at -3 °C, while the duplicate base collection for long-term storage is at -18 °C. Maize seed is stored in plastic jars, while aluminium envelopes are used for smaller wheat seed, and a sophisticated barcode system enables staff to keep track of the thousands of accessions. "Disaster proof" features of the bank include thick concrete walls and back-up power systems.
Photo credit: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT.
For more about the bank see: www.cimmyt.org/en/services/seed/wellhausen-anderson-plant....