wild plant seeds of the Holy Land
wild plant seeds of Palestine
זרעי צמחים פלסטיני
זרעי צמחים של פלסטין
זרעים של ארץ הקודש
Welcome to Israel Plant Gene Bank
The bank is responsible for collection, preservation and evaluation of plant species indigenous to Israel including landraces and primitive cultivars.
Our goal is to conserve representative gene pools
of species with an untapped economic potential.
בנק הגנים לצמחי ארץ ישראל
יחודו בשימור השונות הביולוגית והגנטית של כלל צמחית הבר של ארץ ישראל.
בשלב הראשון מתמקדת הפעילות בצמחי בר קרובי צמחי תרבות בעלי פוטנציאל כלכלי שימושי, צמחי בר נדירים,
אנדמים ובסכנת הכחדה, ומינים חקלאיים עתיקים שגודלו באזור לאורך הדורות.
בנק הגנים מקדם מחקר אודות המאגרים הגנטיים ואיתור תכונות חשובות לתועלת האדם והסביבה.
מקדם יצירת קשרים ושתופי פעולה לאומיים ובינלאומיים בנושאים של שימור זרעים ושימור שונות גנטית.
בנוסף, מקיים הבנק פעילויות להעלאת המודעות הציבורית בנושאים אלה
Conserved Plant Species at IGB
• Domesticated plants gene-pools:
direct ancestors, landraces and wild relatives.
• Forage, forest and ornamental plants which
can be used as source material for breeding.
• Untapped potential for food-related,
pharmacological and chemical industries.
• Land conservation species.
The base collection at the ARO contains over 26,000 accessions belonging to 1144 species. Some 12,000 of these accessions were collected in Israel, mainly from wild populations. In addition, there is a wide collection of landraces. The bulk of the present holdings originates from 158 countries and includes core accessions collected by the ARO's Department of Plant Introduction which predated the IGB.
In addition to the seed bank, the IGB administers three other ex-situ germplasm collections, in which plants are maintained vegetatively. These include a repository of fruit-tree clones as well as a clonal collection of spice plants , both at the ARO North Research Center at Newe Ya'ar, and an internationally renowned collection of short-day adapted Allium L. species at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot and Agricultural Research Organizastion, Volcani Center.
The fruit-tree collection consists of some 150 accessions of Almond, Plum, Peach, Apricot, Pear and Apple, as well as clones of Fig, Pomegranate, and Grapevine. These clones originate from mixed orchards and vineyards dating to ancient Israeli agricultural systems.
The spice-plant collection comprises some 800 accessions of species and varieties of Israeli and worldwide origin and is used as a source for breeding and research. The largest collections are those of species and cultivars of Artemisia or Wormwood, Mint, Sage as well as wild accessions, hybrids and cultivars of Origanum syriacum L., Rosemarinus officinalis L., Satureja thymbra L., and Thymus vulgaris L.
The Allium collection at the Hebrew University and Volacani Center contains ca. 500 entries of garlic, great-headed garlic, tropical and subtropical shallot and ~40 Allium species growing wild in Israel and neighbouring areas. In addition, the collection includes 246 accessions of Garlic, A. sativum , from over 30 countries.
• Allium Collecting Missions and Research Activity
• Publications on the Allium Genebank in Israel, and studies based on the genetic material obtained from this Genebank (partial list)
Seed request guidelines
Seed requests out of Israel - according to accepted international regulations all accessions originated from out of Israel should be requested from the country of origin.
How to order
1. Please download and fill in the Request Form and sign the
NON COMMERCIAL PLANT MATERIAL TRANSFER AGREEMENT.
Send the two documents by mail to the address indicated below. We need the hard copy, since your signatures are mandatory.
In addition, send the "Request Form" by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We will check our holding, in case we have enough seed for distribution we will inform you and sent you the seed samples.
2. Within a year of receipt the germplasm, you are asked to prepare and send us report on the use of this material.
The information that you will provide in the report will help us to manage our collection and to improve the knowledge of our database, your data may increase the overall value of our collection and can also help document their value and impact.
Documentation of this germplasm's value by you, the user, helps ensure the continuing support for the Israeli Plant Gene Bank.
Please fill in and send us the Report of the Research Results by e-mail.
Please acknowledge the IGB as the source of this germplasm in any publications resulting from its use.
Israel Plant Gene Bank (IGB)
Agricultural Research Organization
The Volcani Center
P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
About Israel Plant Gene Bank (IGB)
Scientists have long realized the dangers of genetic erosion and have stressed the need for timely action to salvage the country's still abundant genetic resources. Based on the accumulated efforts of scientists, the Israeli Gene Bank for Agricultural Crops was established in 1979 by then National Council for Research and Development upon the recommendation of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture. At present, the IGB is affiliated with two Ministries, the Ministry of Science Culture & Sport and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development .
The IGB collaborates with scientists from academic institutions and from Israel's seed industry for proper preservation and sustainable use of Israel's plant genetic resources.
These days the Gene Bank focusing on the native plant populations of the Israeli flora.
• Preservation and characterization of plant-genetic resources in the flora of Israel,
mainly species that are related to agricultural and industrial crops
and those that are endemic, rare or in danger of extinction.
• Ex-situ maintenance of the regional germplasm collections.
• In-situ conservation of selected wild populations.
• Evaluation of the conserved accessions.
• Characterization of plant collections including phenotypic and agronomic traits and genetic variation.
• Support and guidance of research focusing on plant genetic resources.
• National and international exchange of plant material.
• Promotion of national and international collaboration in workshops, conferences, and training activities.
• Promotion of public awareness of the assets present in regional gene pools of wild relatives of crop plants.
• Collect wild species and landraces which are related to domesticated, cultivated crops in an attempt to represent
optimally the plant genetic diversity of Israeli flora.
• Conserve the plants gene-pool for long term period as a source of genes for the breeders for the future generation
and for present activities and research.
• Evaluate and characterize the collections
• Test periodically the vitality of seed collections and regenerate seeds from those exhibiting decreased vitality.
• Manage and maintain the IGB documentation system .
• Promote and support research activities related to Plant Genetic Resources (PGR).
• Promote and coordinate regional and international cooperation on PGR
(research, database construction, workshops and courses)
• Disseminates information on IGB - through publications.
• Facilitate the exchange of plant material between national and international institutions and scientists.
Structure of the Israeli Gene Bank for Agricultural Crops
The Israeli Gene Bank for Agricultural Crops (IGB) has its headquarters at the Volcani Center of Israel's Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) at Bet Dagan. It is steered by a Scientific Executive Board of ten members from public research institutions and private industry. Board members are nominated jointly by the chief scientist of the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Board plans and directs the activities of the Gene Bank, defines national policy and sets priorities. It operates as a decentralized network, each part of the network having its own area of expertise.
A priority list of 323 plant species was created for ex-situ conservation in the Israel Plant Gene Bank (IGB). This list represents the most important plant species to be included in the initial collections. The list includes crop wild relatives (CWRs), selected according to their contribution to humans: edible plants (grains, vegetables, oil); forage plants; species with potential industrial and biotechnological applications (e.g. spices, medicinal plants, aromatic plants, fibers, dyes), and species with horticultural and forestry potential. We further ranked the species on the basis of assessed values for each of seven characteristics: distribution range in the country; abundance; rarity of the growing habitats; endemism; red number index-- representing imminent threat of extinction; availability of samples in Israeli collections, and genetic relationship to cultivated crops. The sum of the assessed values for these seven characteristics was used to group the species on the list into four main prioritized-collection schemes.
Our collection team act according to collection guide each seed sample is brought to the bank together with pressed plant specimens and field data. ( 1, 2 )
In the gene bank laboratory the seed samples are processed, tested, and studied.
Israel and its surrounding region is characterized by a wide range of agro-climatic conditions, which account for the enormous diversity of biological resources that exist in this country. Located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, Israel is the meeting point of four major phytogeographical regions: the Mediterranean, the Irano-Turanian, Saharo- Arabian and Sudanian. Its flora exemplifies the broad and in many ways unique diversity of plant species of the coastal plain, the mountains, the Negev/ Arava and the Jordan and Jezreel valleys. Danin (2004) lists 2750 species and 138 plant families in this country. About 10% of these species are related to the Old World crop plants or are being used in folk medicine or as spice plants.
Geographical districts map of Israel:
Fragman, O., Plitmann, U., Heeler, D., Shmida, A., 1999. Checklist and Ecological Data-Base of the Flora of Israel and its Surroundings. Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Research and Publications
• Collection and conservation of the native Israeli flora
We are focusing on three types of populations:
1. Crop Wild Relatives, species that are progenitors of crops as well as species which are
closely related to crops. Used as important resource for improving agricultural production (see collection mission).
2. Land-races - Genetic material that has been utilized by humans for thousands of years and adapted to the natural
and cultural environment.
3. Rare, Endemic and endangered plants
Annual report_collection 2007 ( PDF file )
Annual report_collection 2008 ( PDF file )
Annual report_collection 2009 ( PDF file )
Annual report_collection 2010 ( PDF file )
Annual report_collection 2012 ( PDF file )
Scientific project supported by the European Commission´s 6th framework programme.
Networking on conservation and use of plant genetic resources in Europe and Asia
The Israel Gene Bank ( Video )
• Collection and conservation of rare endemic and endangered species of the Israeli flora.
This project is collaboration between the Israel Plant Gene Bank, the Israel Nature and
National Parks Protection Authority and the Mount Scopus Botanical Garden.
Based on the Red Book, a priority list of 300 plant species were prepared.
100 species out of them were selected to be collected in the first year.
For more information press here (Hebrew) ( PDF file , PPT file ).
• Landrace Seed Conservancy.
This project is a cooperation of the Israel Plant Gene Bank (IGB),
Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center,
Til Nablus (BERC) and Hava & Adam ecological farm.
For more information press here (PDF file).
Restoring Ancient Wheat
• Eruca sativa as a model plant species for setting collection strategies for ex-situ conservation.
Supported Projects 2004-2005
• Comparisons of phenotypic and genotypic structure between cultivars and wild populations
Anemone coronaria L.
1. Yonash N., Fang j., Shamay A., Pollak N., Lavi U. and Cohen A. 2004.
Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of a commercial cultivar and wild populations of Anemone coronaria.
Euphytica 136: 51-62
2. Shamay A., Fang j., Pollak N., Cohen A., Yonash N. and Lavi U. 2005.
Discovery of c-SNPs in Anemone coronaria and assessment of genetic variation.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
3. Shamay Arik. 2004.
Discovery characterization and genotyping of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) in Anemone coronaria.
M.sc Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Quality Science
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
• Genetic of Origanum syriacum clones from different geographical regions in Israel with respect
to their content of aromatic substances.
This study is in progress as a joint project of the Seed Bank and the Newe Ya'ar Research Station. (PDF file)
• Genetics of resistance to Ascochyta leaf spot in chickpea.
This study, conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture , is a joint project
with the Plant Protection Institute of the ARO, in the framework of collection and characterization
of wild Cicer judaicum Boiss. in Israel.
1. Ben-David R., Abbo S. 2005.
Phenological variation among Israeli populations of Cicer judaicum Boiss.
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56, 1219–1225
2. Ben-David R., Lev-Yadun S., Can C., Abbo S. 2005.
Ecogeography and Demography of Cicer judaicum Boiss.,a Wild Annual Relative of Domesticated Chickpea
Crop Sci 46, 1360-1370 (PDF file)
• Genetics of resistance to wheat leaf rust in Aegilops speltoides .
This project was performed at the ICCI at Tel Aviv University.
• Response to RNA viruses in pumpkin ( Cucurbita L. lines).
This study is conducted at the ARO, in the framework of the Plant Protection Institute and the IGB,
using classical and molecular tools.
(Edelstein, M., Hadas, R., Barkan, G. and Gal-On, A. (2007)
Diversity within Cucurbita maxima and C. moschata for Resistance
to RNA Viruses Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 28-29: 77-78 (2005-2006)
• Singer, A., Scafferman, D., Golan, S., Yadin, O., Hadad, S., Paz -Aviram, T. and Hadas, R. (2008).
Israel Plant Gene Bank. High Yield 35: 14-18, (Hebrew)
• Barazani, O., Perevolotsky, A., and Hadas, R. (2008).
A problem of the rich: Prioritizing local plant genetic resources for ex-situ conservation in Israel.
Biological Conservation, 141/2: 596-600, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.10.014. ( link )
• Hadas, R., Sirota, A., Agami, M. and Horovitz, A. (2008).
Managing passport data associated with seed collections from wild populations: increasing potential for
conservation and use of crop wild relatives in Israel. In: Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Use.
(Maxted, N., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Kell, S.P., Iriondo, J., Dulloo, E. and Turok, J. eds.) pp. 513-520. CAB International,
Wallingford UK. (PDF file)
• Hadas R. (2007). Plant Noah's ark. Agro Mashov 221:32-34, (Hebrew)
• Hadas, R., Perevolotsky, A., Scafferman, D., Singer, A., and Barazani, O. (2007).
Conservation of Israel Ornamental and Forestry genetic resources.
Flower world. September-October 20-23, (Hebrew PDF file)
• Hadas R. (2006). The National Israeli Gene Bank of the regional flora. High Yield 18: 38-39, (Hebrew)
• Hadas, R. and Sirota, A. (2006).
An overview of the goals and functions of The Israeli Gene Bank for Agricultural Crops.
Israel Journal of Plant Science 54: 149-156. ( Abstract , Full text )
• The Jerusalem Post ,Apr 7, 2008
Gene bank preserves country's flora against extinction.
• Yadiot Ahronot, 2005 - Article
• Opening of a new building Israel Plant Gene Bank.
• Yadiot Ahronot, 24.05.2009 - ( File PDF )
• Yadiot Ahronot, 23.06.2009 - ( File PDF )
• Haaretz , 28.08.2009 - ( File PDF )
• Haaretz, English 04.09.2009 - ( File PDF )
• מקור ראשון Hebrew 01.01.10 - ( File PDF )
• גליליאו צעיר , Hebrew - ( File PDF )
• הארץ , Hebrew 08.11.10
• הארץ , English 08.11.10
• www.ynet.co.i , Hebrew 11.03.12
Conservation in a national seed bank should be applied not only to species related to agriculture but also to any endangered or rare wild native species. To widen the scope of the IGB's activities in this direction, the Ministry of Environment is about to become one of its controlling ministries.
In the future, all holdings will be handled and reorganized for deposition in a new storage facility. Seed collections for ex-situ conservation will be enlarged with a focus on endangered populations.
In parallel, country-wide collections of the most important wild relatives of crop plants will be made, irrespective of an immediate danger they may face. This is necessary for an adequate representation of these species in the seed bank. A search will be made for in-situ conservation sites. Preference will be given to sites in which a number of species can be conserved simultaneously. It is very much hoped that in the near future the IGB can become part of a regional network, in which Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian gene banks collaborate in studying and perpetuating the plant-genetic resources of our area.
Preservation of Cucurbita germplasm
Conducted and Reported by:
Harry S. Paris, Aviva Hanan and Assaf Porat
Department of Vegetable Crops & Plant Genetics
A.R.O. Newe Ya'ar Research Center
In Cooperation with:
The Israel Plant Gene Bank
The Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust (New York, NY U.S.A.)
The Cucurbits Section of the Department of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Organization at Newe Ya'ar, Israel, has been researching the genetics and conducting germplasm enhancement of cucurbits since the early 1960s. Germplasm of melons, watermelons, squash, and pumpkins derived from a host of countries, mostly in Asia and Europe, has accumulated over the past nearly half-century.
The founding of the Israel Plant Gene Bank at the A.R.O. Volcani Center headquarters has provided the opportunity for long-term preservation of endangered germplasm. Our objective is to ensure long-term preservation of cucurbit germplasm and we have begun by focusing on the accessions of Cucurbita sp. (squash and pumpkins) other than C. pepo in the collection at Newe Ya'ar. This effort has included renewal of the seeds as well as characterization of the individual accessions in the collection, according to the framework of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources.
We have succeeded in documenting and increasing the seeds of 50 accessions of Cucurbita argyosperma Huber, Cucurbita maxima Duchesne, and Cucurbita moschata Duchesne. Thirty of these accessions are from Europe, Asia, and Africa and the rest from the Americas. We have photographed mature and immature fruits of nearly every accession. Seeds of each accession have been deposited at the Gene Bank for preservation.
Description of the project.
Itemized summary of the 50 Cucurbita cultivars ( Table ) ( file PDF )