University of Catania
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Germplasm Bank

Celle di post maturazione
Via Etnea 397 - 95125 Catania

Scientific Coordinator, Prof. Antonia Cristaudo

The GB from UNICT Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences was built in 2004 and meets modern human needs and criteria as far as structural and instrumental standards. Its primary goal is to safeguard and preserve plant diversity in Sicily and across the Mediterranean through the ex situ conservation of germplasm of spontaneous species, granting a high priority to endemic taxa and, generally speaking, to the rarest and most endangered species. Particularly interesting for those who have a phytogeographic and naturalistic interest, the GB collects the germplasm of tree and forest species for an overall recovery and requalification of the environment. It is based on the former Conservatory of Vergini al Borgo, Via Empedocle 58, and stored in specially dedicated rooms; one of which fully-equipped for the treatment and cleaning of germplasm, a biological lab for germination tests, a room for the dehydration of seeds, and a cold one for both medium and long-term storage of such collections.

The seeds of more than 250 species are being kept within the GB for 620 accessions, many of which are regarded to be truly rare and endemic.

The GB forms part of the Italian network of germplasm banks (Ribes) and by the same token of the network of Mediterranean banks (Genmeda), for the off-site conservation of spontaneous flora.