National Center for Plant Genetic Resources of Ukraine
Preservation and effective use of plant genetic diversity to ensure food, economic, environmental, social security and development is one of the most pressing problems of mankind. In Ukraine, these activities were initiated in the early 1900th by such prominent scientists as A.Ye. Zaikevych, P.V. Budrin, V.Ya. Yuriev, B.K. Yenken, M.I. Vavilov, M.M. Kuleshov, L.M. Delone and others.
With the proclamation of Ukraine's independence in 1992, on the initiative of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, the scientific and technical program "Plant Genetic Resources" was launched. The program is aimed at creating the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine. It is performed by 28 leading breeding and research institutions that form the System of Plant Genetic Resources of Ukraine. For coordination and scientific and methodological guidance of the System on the basis of the Plant Production Institute named after VYa Yuriev, the National Center for Genetic Resources of Plants of Ukraine (NCPGRU) was founded. A powerful base for working with plant genetic resources was created by including several research units of the Plant Production Institute named after VYa Yuriev as well as of Ustymivka Experimental Station of Plant Production (which was previously part of the system of the MI Vavilov All-Union Institute of Plant Production) in the NCPGRU. The Center acts in accordance with the "Regulations on the National Center for Plant Genetic Resources of Ukraine", 1994 (Approved by: Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Ukraine, Order 1332 dated 05/08/1994; Ministry of Forestry of Ukraine, Order 01-2DSP dated 03/08/1994; Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, Order 21-7/273 dated 25/07/1994).
During the activities of the PGRU System, the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine was formed, which by the beginning of 2021 has collected 151,300 specimens belonging to 544 crops and 1,802 species of plants. In terms of its volume and diversity, the Gene Bank is one of the 10 largest gene banks in the world.
NCPGRU’s research avenues:
- Provision starting material for breeding, research, educational and other programs (about 2,000 specimens are provided annually);
- Enrichment of the National Gene Bank with new sources of valuable economic and biological features (about 1,500 specimens from Ukraine and other countries);
- Maintenance of the information system on genetic resources "Plant Gene Pool", which includes passport data on 108,700 specimens;
- Studies of the global gene pool of field crops with identification of sources and donors of valuable traits for use in breeding and research;
- Development of scientific and methodological basics for the formation and maintenance of agricultural crop collections;
- Formation and registration of collections and accessions of the gene pool in Ukraine. By the beginning of 2021, 300 collections of national importance and 2,196 sources of valuable traits have been registered;
- Preservation of the gene pool of plants for current and future generations. For this purpose, the National Seed Depository of Plant Gene Pool Specimens has been created. The Depository has 74,400 specimens belonging to 342 crops and 739 botanical plant species stored in a viable state at low temperatures. The development and improvement of seed storage modes for different crops are underway.
The NCPGRU publishes journal Genetičnì Resursi Roslin (Plant Genetic Resources) (the Journal’s site http://genres.com.ua). On the initiative and with the leading role of the NCPGRU, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine has developed and approved a student course "Plant Genetic Resources", which is taught in higher education institutions of Ukraine. Advanced training course "Formation, Maintenance and Effective Use of Plant Genetic Resources Collections” is held.
By Resolution 527 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 01/04/1999, the Bank of Plant Genetic Resources is a national asset of Ukraine. Leading scientists of the NCPGRU are Laureates of the State Prize in Science and Technology.
The NCPGRU cooperates with international and national research and breeding institutions in more than 30 countries, participating in solving the global problem of enrichment, preservation and efficient use of the genetic resources of plants of the planet.