Tuscia Germplasm Bank - University of Tuscia (TGB)
Country: Italy | Region: Lazio
Tuscia Germplasm Bank (BGT), established in December 2005, is a research facility of the Azienda Agraria “Nello Lupori”, Tuscia University, Viterbo (Italy). It comprises two laboratories: a seed cleaning and characterization lab (ca. 30 m2) and a reproduction lab (ca. 20 m2), besides two departmental rooms for freezers and autoclaves.
The BGT deals with ex situ conservation of germplasm (seeds and spores) of endemic and/or endangered species of the Italian flora, with a special interest in orchids, ferns and lycophytes, and species of coastal habitats. It is one of the few banks in Europe that deals with the long-term conservation of fern spores and orchid seeds. Currently, the BGT manages to preserve over 1,100 accessions of spores and seeds of 330 taxa. In particular, 360 seed accessions of more than 90 orchid taxa, 142 spore accessions of 60 species of ferns and lycophytes, and 153 seed lots of 35 coastal dune species are preserved. Specific protocols for in vitro reproduction have been defined and tested for most of the threatened species in seed-bank, such as Anacamptis palustris, Cypripedium calceolus, Limodorum trabutianum, and Liparis loeselii among orchids, ferns like Asplenium sagittatum, Osmunda regalis, Woodwardia radicans, and Dryopteris tyrrhena, and lycophytes like Isoëtes sabatina.
Some projects concerning ex situ conservation and in vitro reproduction of species of wild orchids and ferns are ongoing:
- OSSSU “Orchid Seed Stores/Science for Sustainable Use” project launched in 2007 by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to set up a network of orchid seed banks using common protocols for drying, storing and germinating orchid seeds.
- SYNTHESYS+ Grant for the project GB-TAF-2900: “Comparative thermal analysis of terrestrial orchid seeds to inform conservation” (2020) and American Orchid Society Research Grant for the project “Comparative analysis of terrestrial orchid seeds to inform ex-situ conservation in Europe” (2021), both carried out at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, to characterize biophysically the crystallization/melting patterns of orchid seeds by thermal analysis, to predict the optimal storage temperatures, avoiding freezing damage promoted by lipid crystallization and melting.
- The BGT is one of the partners of the international project LIFE20 NAT/IT/001468 Using SEED banks to restore and reinFORCE the endangered native plants of Italy (SEEDFORCE): 2021-2026. In the project, the BGT is dealing with the in vitro reproduction of two orchids, Liparis loeselii and Himantoglossum adriaticum, and three ferns, Botrychium simplex, Marsilea quadrifolia and Woodwardia radicans.
Several other conservation projects were funded by Italian nature parks, for the conservation and/or reproduction of: Malcolmia littorea (Circeo National Park, 2012-2015), Cypripedium calceolus (Maiella National Park, 2017-2020), Isoëtes sabatina (Bracciano-Martignano Regional Park, 2018-2019), Asplenium sagittatum (Ente di gestione per i Parchi e la Biodiversità-Romagna, 2013-2018), and orchids (Colli Euganei Park, 2022-2025).
Contact: Sara Magrini: firstname.lastname@example.org
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