Preservation of plant genetic resources, part of the Bulgarian cultural heritage, is our duty, which gives the future generations a chance to create germplasm under the requirements of the new age.
„The last thought of K. Malkov was about the favorite experimental field, where he wished to be buried, to be able to hear, perhaps in a dream, the noise of the wind swaying golden grades and as a faithful guardian to watch over those who will continue his work in that sanctuary.“
The Institute for Plant Genetic Resources „K. Malkov“ is a inheritor of the rich history and traditions in agricultural science. In 1882 in Sadovo was organized the first agricultural experimental field with well-equipped laboratories and thus the agricultural science in Bulgaria was established. In 1902 the experimental field expanded in the First Agricultural Experimental Station and the Director was the famous Bulgarian scientist Konstantin Malkov. Bulgaria ranks fifth in the world with organized agronomic research.
The Institute of Introduction and Plant Resources was established by Decree in 1977 and comprises the Experimental Station „K. Malkov“, The Station for Maintenance and Seed production in Sadovo and the Department of Genetic Resources of the Institute of Genetics, Sofia. Since 2001 /Decree 270/15.12.2000/ it was renamed the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources.
The Institute is located in the town of Sadovo, Central South Bulgaria, situated 15 km away from Plovdiv. Sadovo is the administrative center of the Municipality Sadovo. The area has a typical continental climate – warm summers and cold winters. In 1916 in the meteorological station – Sadovo was measured the highest temperature for Bulgaria – 45,20C.
The IPGR manage 270 ha arable land, 155 ha of which are experimental fields and 115 ha be seed base.
The IPGR has a National Seed Genebank, botanical garden, herbarium, computer center and specialized laboratories: seed-investigation, plant protection, biochemistry, plant physiology, agricultural chemistry, plant biotechnology and quality of grain.
The Institute of Plant Genetic Resources is accredited to educate regular and part-time PhD students in the Scientific area 6.1 Plant Breeding in Doctoral programs: Breeding and Seed Production of Cultivated Plants and Crop production. IPGR has qualified scientific staff and good facilities for conducting training and internship to students and PhD students, including Erasmus+, and graduate guidance and postgraduates in various fields of agricultural science.
The main research topics at the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources „K. Malkov“ – Sadovo are aimed at:
- Collection, study, storage, documentation and use of plant genetic resources;
- IPGR is National Coordinator of the Programme for Plant Genetic Resources, which is part of the European Programme for Plant Genetic Resources;
- Maintaining in the National Genebank, quarantine and botanical garden plant species according to criteria agreed with FAO;
- Implementation of breeding programs for major crops in the country and creation a competitive high-quality varieties of wheat, triticale, oats, rye, peanuts, sesame, peas, chickpeas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, etc;
- Application of modern biotechnological methods in plant breeding and genetic resources.