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.

IGB Objectives
• 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.

IGB Activities
• 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.

Governmental and Private Sponsors