D. sc. Wiesław Podyma

National Coordinator for Plant Genetic Resources,
National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources: Polish Genebank,
Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute – National research Institute (IHAR-PIB

National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources: Polish Genebank protects genetic diversity of crop plants, endangered with genetic erosion in Poland.

  • NCPGR is in 17th place in the world, 3rd in Europe and 2nd in European Union and when it comes to the number of accessions maintained in a genebank.
  • NCPGR is the coordinator and implementer of the National Crop Plant Genetic Resources Protection Program.

The main tasks include:

  • collection of crop and wild plant populations and varieties endangered with genetic erosion,
  • description and evaluation of collected materials,
  • maintaining them in viable state and genetic purity,
  • preserving biodiversity through ex situ and in situ collections and reintroduction,
  • keeping collections in a herbarium,
  • producing documentation,
  • exchanging seed samples with other genebanks or botanical gardens,
  • carrying out projects and producing publications concerning the usage of genetic resources,
  • regional and international cooperation.

Conservation of biodiversity is the main goal of treaties ratified by Poland: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),  International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA) and Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Poland’s biological diversity is one of the most opulent in Europe. It is a result of many factors: varying soil conditions across the country, diverse types of landscape, a lack of natural barriers, different, comparing to other European countries and influence on human economy.

Over 50% of the total area of Poland is used for agriculture. Polish agriculture is characterized by a large fragmentation of holdings. The soil and climatic conditions, as well as agricultural traditions determine plant production in the regions. There have been threats to biological diversity, that include: change of land cultivation methods, higher application of chemical products and intensification of agriculture. These threats cause the genetic erosion. The institute’s mission is development and usage of biological progress for sustainable agroecosystems and preserving varieties endangered with genetic erosion.

  1. National Crop Plant Genetic Resources Protection Program – within the Multiannual Program (for Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute) determined by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  2. Protection and management of national genetic resources of farm animals under conditions of sustainable use  within the Multiannual Program (for Natural Research Institute of Animal Production) determined by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  3. Forest genetic resources preservation and selection breeding of forest trees program – implemented by Forest Gene Bank in Kostrzyca.