The Plant Genetic Resources Bank "Mihai Cristea" Suceava is a public and legal entity acting as a national research institution, reporting to the Agricultural and Forestry Sciences Academy. Since its establishment in 1990, the Genebank was mandated to preserve all seed propagated species with relevance for Romanian agriculture under long- and medium-term conditions, and to provide biological material for breeding, research, education, or for direct use. In order to fulfil its role, the institution carries out the specific activities of:
- regeneration/multiplication of the genetic material introduced into collections
- conservation of the genetic material by placing it in three types of collections: seeds, "in vitro" crops and live plants in the experimental field,
- documentation and information
An activity that covers a fairly generous space in the Gene Bank‘s programme is to promote and support the actions related to the in situ - on farm conservation of traditional and local varieties having a certain value in the rural communities‘ economy. The Gene Bank coordinates the National Program on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in which five institutes and 36 agricultural and horticultural research stations in the whole country are involved. It provides advisory services to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on general issues related to plant genetic resources, and is the National Focal Point for the implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food & Agriculture.
Role within INCREASE
The Gene Bank participates in six work packages with 15 tasks, contributing to:
- the development of a holistic approach in conserving plant genetic resources for food and agriculture by connecting ex-situ and in situ/on-farm strategies, and creating a bridge between involved formal and informal sectors;
- the improvement of the current standards of germplasm management;
- promoting the sustainable use of local and neglected varieties of the target crops, by publishing the first Romanian Inventory of Landraces still grown on-farm/home gardens;
- supplying biological material from its genetic fund for the constitution of the project collections;
- the development of the central database, through providing specific data;
- storing the Reference-Core collection of the common bean under long- and medium-term conservation conditions.