What is Seed Bank ? A seed bank is a collection of seeds from various plant species that are stored to preserve genetic diversity and protect against extinction. Seed banks can be maintained by government organizations, botanical gardens, research institutions, or seed companies.
What is Seed Bank ?
The seeds are stored in a controlled environment, typically at low temperature and low humidity, to maintain their viability for long periods of time. These collections can be used for research purposes, such as the study of plant genetics and evolution, or for conservation and restoration efforts in the event of natural or human-caused environmental disasters.
Seed banks play a crucial role in preserving plant diversity and ensuring food security for future generations. Some of the reasons why we need seed banks are:
- Biodiversity conservation: Seed banks preserve the genetic diversity of plants, including rare and endangered species, which is important for maintaining the overall health and stability of ecosystems.
- Adaptation to changing environments: Seed banks provide a source of seeds that can be used to breed crops better suited to changing climates and environmental conditions.
- Food security: Seed banks ensure the availability of a diverse range of plant species for future agriculture and food production, which is important for meeting the needs of a growing global population.
- Disaster preparedness: In the event of natural or human-caused environmental disasters, seed banks provide a backup source of seeds that can be used to restore ecosystems and agricultural production.
Overall, seed banks play a vital role in ensuring the long-term survival and well-being of plant species and the health of our planet’s ecosystems.
ADVANTAGES OF SEED BANKS
- Ease of storage
- Economy of Space: Can store a very large amount of plant genetic material in a small space
- Relatively low labor demands
DISADVANTAGES OF SEED BANKS
Because seed RNA degrades with time, the seeds need to be periodically replanted and fresh seeds to be collected for another round of long-term storage.
Fire accidents or power failures can permanently damage the seeds.
Seeds in a bank do not evolve in relationship to outer circumstances. When they are later re-introduced into the field, they may be less fit for survival.
Ultimately, seed banks can only store a small part of global biodiversity.
Seed bank is an expensive option for poor countries.