German Genebank for Ornamentals

 

 

rhododendren, trees
Genbank Rhododendron in Westerstede, © BLE

The German Genebank for Ornamentals is organized as a network of genebanks, in which institutions and involved parties with important collections of ornamental plants work togeth-er, in order to jointly conserve the national inventory of these genetic resources as well as to make this material available for the use in breeding and research.


The German Genebank for Roses was founded in 2009 as the first part of the German Genebank for Ornamentals, which is coordinated by the EUROPA-Rosarium of the city of Sangerhausen. The world biggest collection of roses contains more than 8,000 samples (ca. 70,000 single plants), among them around 500 species of wild roses from all natural areas of distribution of the genus and 7,500 cultural tribes on an area of 12,5 acres. In addition  many partners bring their important collections and their expertise in this genebank network. To-gether the partners conserve a representative selection of seldom varieties of roses in the German Genebank for Roses and provide material for the use in breeding and research.


As a further key element the German Genebank for Rhododendron has been founded by the Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Saxony with the support of the Foundation Bremer Rhodo-dendron Park. The German-wide network of the German Genebank for Rhododendron con-sists of more than 50 partners from parks, botanic gardens, tree nurseries and private gardens as well as agricultural chambers and federal offices. This network conserves varieties and wild species of Rhododendron, which are able to grow under the German climatic conditions. Over 3,200 different varieties and over 350 wild species and sub-species were verified by the specialists of the Agricultural Chamber Lower Saxony. This are two third of the theoretical in Germany growing breeds and almost the half of the wild species, which can grow outside in Germany. In 2014 the Federal Plant Variety Office has taken over the coordination of the German Genebank for Rhododendron.


In August 2011, a network for seed-propagated ornamental plants was established, coordinat-ed by the Federal Plant Variety Office. Aim of the Genebank for Seed-Propagated Ornamen-tal Plants is the establishment of a main collection for seed-propagated ornamental varieties by the Federal Plant Variety Office, the identification of endangered taxa and collections as well as the assessment of their importance and the propagation and delivery of seed samples.


Since August 2012 the Federal Plant Variety Office is also responsible for the setup and coor-dination of the Genebank for Vegetatively Propagated Ornamental Plants. The aim is the es-tablishment of a German-wide, decentralized network of different collections of vegetatively propagated ornamental plants. To order to win the important collections of private plant en-thusiasts for the German Genebank for Ornamentals, the German horticulturists´ association conducted a model and demonstration project “Network of Plant Collections”, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food (BMEL). The aim of the project and beyond is the creation of a network of private collections as well as the long-term conservation of these collections and the collaboration with the German Genebank for Ornamentals.


The setup phase of the German Genebank for Ornamentals was intensively conducted by the Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) as coordination party of the German Genebank for Ornamentals and supported by several projects funded on behalf of the BMEL. The Federal Plant Variety Office is responsible for the created networks since 2014 and has taken over the coordination task from the IBV of the BLE.


The scientific guidance is carried out by the consulting committee of the German Genebank for Ornamentals.


The picture shows the modular setting of the German Genebank for Ornamentals, which is the umbrella organization for the part-networks.

Graphic design german library ornamental plants
Concept of the structure of the German Genebank for Ornamentals, © BLE