An establishment concerned primarily with the conservation of hereditary genetic material which may be lost through the process of genetic erosion. Germ plasm loss is a major concern in Asia, parts of Africa, southern Europe, and countries bordering the Mediterranean, where antiquated cultivars are rapidly replaced by new varieties. With the loss of older cultivars, qualities possessed by them may be lost permanently, and so cannot become incorporated in new varieties. Gene banks are an important source of germ plasm.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.