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DivSeek welcomes Vietnam’s Plant Resources Centre

October 6, 2022

Nyugen Van Kien, principle researcher at the National Plant Genebank in Vietnam, in a cassava in-situ genebank. Credit: © 2015 CIAT / Georgina Smith.

 

The Vietnamese Plant Resources Centre in Hanoi has become the newest member organization of DivSeek International Network.

Positioned in the heart of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a country with a broad range of climates and habitats – from tropical, to subtropical, to temperate, and alpine.

This diversity is mirrored in its floristic composition. The country is considered a global biodiversity hotspot[1], and has been recognized as a center of angiosperm radiation and crop biodiversity[2].

The Plant Resources Centre (PRC) was founded in 1986 to preserve around 1,000 accessions collected across the Red River Delta (Châu thổ sông Hồng) – the expansive, low-lying plain surrounding Hanoi.

Now, more than thirty years later, the PRC has become the headquarters for Vietnam’s National Plant Genebank. The genebank now conserves 45,000 accessions of over 450 crop species and their wild relatives, from across all eight of the country’s agroecological regions.

The genebank conserves genetic resources at both ex-situ and in-situ sites – located throughout 23 agricultural R&D institutions, and in associated protected areas and national parks.

Seed collections housed within the National Plant Genebank in Vietnam. Credit: © 2015 CIAT / Georgina Smith.

Beyond conservation, the PRC also conducts genomic research on important crop species, characterises and evaluates germplasm for valuable traits, manages and develops their own information systems, and distributes between 500 and 1,000 accessions to domestic scientists and farmers, annually.

“We are so happy to be joining DivSeek International Network,” says Nguyen Van Kien, principle researcher at the National Plant Genebank. “Our collection of 45,000 accessions comprises useful material to carry out research, and we expect it will be of interest to many of DivSeek’s members.”

Kien says that he and his colleagues are looking forward to supporting and joining existing projects by other DivSeek member organizations, or to collaborate on developing proposals for new projects.

“It’s so important that we cooperate with other organizations to collect, assess, store, utilize and raise awareness for plant resources,” he says. “This is the only way we will develop our capacity to face future challenges.”

DivSeek’s executive director, Graham King, says the PRC are a welcome addition to DivSeek’s growing membership base. “We are actively looking to expand our network to include more member organizations in Southeast Asia,” he says.

To the broader DivSeek network, Kien extends a warm invitation. “All of you are welcome at PRC”.

 

References
  1. Andrew W. Tordoff, J. W. Duckworth, Christopher Macfarlane, Marguerite Ravn, James Tallant.Critical . Ecosystem Profile: Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot. Update 2020. Ecosystem Partnership Fund. https://www.cepf.net/sites/default/files/ep_indoburma_2020_update_final-sm_0.pdf
  2. Hoai, Tran Thi Thu, Hummer, K.E. and Nghia, La Tuan (2018). Plant Resources Center and the Vietnamese Genebank System. Acta Hortic. 1205, 425-430
    DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.50
    https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.50
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