Preservation of plant biodiversity of cultural and wild flora is the main priority in the scientific activities of the team that performs the National program of Plant Genetic Resources through the realization of the project “Conservation, management and use of PGR in Bulgaria”.
The main research activities include:
- Enrichment of collections with new germplasm;
- Complex assessment of PGR;
- Maintain of PGR;
- Conservation of germplasm;
- Documentation of PGR;
- Use of plant diversity.
The National collection of cultivated species and their wild relatives includes: advanced cultivars, breeding lines, old cultivars, local population, mutants and wild species. It is divided into eight basic groups: cereal, legumes, forage crops, oil crops, industrial crops, vegetables, medicinal and ornamental plants.
The plant accessions in the main collections are evaluated in accordance with the contemporary methods, classifications and standards of FAO and the European Programme for PGR.
A data base from evaluation information has been created and a selection of samples with the possibility of improving the species and cultivar structure of farmers’ agriculture has been carried out. Core collections, which fully represent the genetic diversity in the context of the contemporary criteria for the future significance of the initial material in selection programmes, have been created.
Enrichment of the plant gene pool with 950 to 1300 samples is carried out annually through free exchange with other genebanks and scientific institutes, donorship of breeding institutes and private parties from country and through expedition missions in Bulgaria and abroad.
A data base of marked and studied habitats for in situ support of wild plants has been developed. Information of on farm support of some old cultivars and forms in different geographical regions of the country has been collected.
By using of PGR as a starting material in the plant breeding 20 varieties from 10 crops are created (durum wheat-1, barley-1, oats-4, rye-1, beans-1, salad-1, tomatoes-2, eggplant-2, kohlrabi-1, paper-1, vigna-1, peas-4).
IPGR-Sadovo is the National Coordinator of the National Programme for Plant Genetic Resources as a part of the European Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR). The National Programme on Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources and Agro-biodiversity is based on the applicable international documents, principles and methodologies that are stated in, e.g. the FAO Global Plan of Action, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA), European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources Networks (ECPGR), or generally in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is also based on relevant recommendations of the international organizations, e.g. Bioversity International and Global Crop Diversity Trust. The curators of the program participate in 12 working groups by crop and documentation of database.