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The invaders destroyed the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine


One of the world’s largest the National Gene Bank of named after V.Ya. Yuriev National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, located in Kharkiv, was destroyed during the war.

This was announced by the leading researcher of the institute Sergey Avramenko on his YouTube channel.

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 bank kept more than 160 thousand varieties of plant seeds, and hybrids of agricultural crops worldwide.

These seeds were stored in special storage facilities so that future generations could restore them

Sergey Avramenko

He also stressed that seed samples were ordered by specialists from different countries, including Russia, to carry out selection work on a particular crop that would be adapted to a specific area.

The specialist added that there are those that no longer exist in Europe and the world among the destroyed samples.

On May 2, 2022, an online meeting was held with the leadership of the National Center for Genetic Resources of Plants of Ukraine, the V.Ya. Yuriev NAAS, National Coordinators of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) of European countries: Frank Begemann (Germany), Jens Weibull (Sweden), Wieslaw Podima (Poland) and the leaders of the European Cooperative Program on Plant Genetic Resources – Lorenzo Maggioni and Imke Thormann. They praised the global importance of Ukraine’s genetic resources and the contribution of the Gene Bank of Ukraine to the European fund, expressed concern over the state of scientists and exploration and willingness to seek ways to provide technical and humanitarian support to the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine.