Genetic Resources Programme Executors 2021 Reports

The implementation of the programme creates preconditions for the collection, conservation and use of locally sourced genetic resources of agricultural crops for the preservation, mitigation and adaptation of climate change, food security and preservation of cultural heritage. 

The programme is carried out by research and development institutions engaged in the preservation of the genetic resources of Estonian agricultural crops:
1. Estonian Institute of Crop Production: collecting and storing the genetic resource of grains and legumes, grasses, vegetables and oil crops in the ex situ gene bank, in vitro preservation of potato and garden crops. Participation in international cooperation on plant genetic resources and coordination of cooperation within Europe.
2. Polli Horticultural Research Centre of the Agricultural and Environmental Institute of the Estonian University of Life Sciences; collecting and storing genetic resource for fruit and berry crops in collection gardens.
3. Botanical Garden of the Natural History Museum of the University of Tartu: collection and preservation of genetic resources of medicinal, taste and ornamental plants in collection gardens.

Estonian Crop Research institute Gene Bank and Plant Biotechnology Department

'Collection and preservation of genetic resource for grains, legumes, grasses, vegetables and oil crops in ex situ gene bank, in vitro preservation of potatoes and garden crops'.

The seed collection includes 3,055 storages in freezers for long-term storage and 290 from Tallinn University of Technology in refrigerators. The collection of tissue crops includes 415 clones of potato sithers. In addition to potatoes, garden crops and ornamental plants are also preserved in the collection. To keep the collections viable, seed germination was checked.

The products and studies were: 1) the preserves of common grass, kink-aruheina, alfalfa, creatures and randrics collected from nature; 2) local varieties of tomatoes, garden and field beans, garden peas and turnips collected from hobbyists; 3) Summer whiscray and lentil preserves of Estonian origin obtained from the Vavilov Institute of All-Russian Genetic Resources and the preserves of pasture-felling from gene banks of other countries within the framework of a private and public sector cooperation project.

To characterize potato tissue crops, 117 of meristem plants and 121 from tubers were grown in the field, which were described in accordance with the ECPGR's instructions for describing potato seedlings. In cooperation with researchers from the University of Tartu, 33 potato sparks, including aphid-resistant and susceptible to aphid rot, were studied in the test field and measured the openness of these air lions.

In the collection of vegetatively re-propivating vegetables, the onion varieties collected from the home gardens of Sangaste, Kolkja, Viidu and Tarvastu were grown, as well as the Estonian garlic variety belonging to the Danish Seed Savers collection.

According to the orders, 143 preservations were issued from the Gene Bank under the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) to research institutions, breeders, rural schools and museums in the following countries: Estonia, India, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark and Belarus.

In cooperation with the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu and the Tallinn Botanic Garden, two exhibitions were organised, home gardens were inventoried with representatives of the Estonian Open Air Museum and NGO Maadjas, and an article about the alleys of sweet cherry S-locus on the genetic resources of sweet cherry was published with the Representatives of the Estonian Open Air Museum and NGO Maadjas.

International questionnaires were completed: 1) a global strategy for potato preservation; 2) The implementation of the International Genetic Resources Agreement (First report on Compliance of ITPGRFA).

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Polli Centre for Horticultural Research, Estonian University of Life Sciences

"Collecting and storing the genetic resource of fruit and berry crops in collection gardens."

The aim is to collect, preserve, study, use and disseminate information about the Estonian origin of fruit and berry crops or a genetic resource well adapted to us as an important part of biodiversity and cultural value.

Several expeditions were organized: Swedish farm, Veskimäe, Kastre parish; Palmse Manor Apple Orchard, by autumn 2022 a new visit is planned in the garden, for determining varieties; Raimu Asa collection; Martin Liias Collection Garden; Jaaguri Farm, Kibuna, Harju County.

The collection stand of the Polli Horticultural Research Centre includes a total of 801 preserves, including 347 apple trees, 69 pear trees, 65 plum trees, 48 sweet cherry trees, 12 sour cherry trees, 26 strawberries, 16 raspberries, 10 blue honeysuckles, 25 rowan, 6 tompihlaka, 3 pamples, 52 black currants, 17 red currants, 10 white currants, 28 gooseberries, 14 sea buckthorn, 1 blueberry, 3 golden currants and 49 apple tree grafts.
Data from 379 varieties of fruit and berries and breeding of Estonian origin or well adapted to us have been entered into the database.
The collection includes a total of 156 varieties bred in Estonia, including 59 apple trees, 10 pear trees, 24 sweet cherry trees, 25 plum trees (including land varieties), 3 strawberry, 6 raspberries, 14 black currants, 2 red currants, 2 white currants, 7 gooseberry varieties and 6 varieties of apple tree grafting. In addition, the collection includes 107 apple trees, 35 pear trees, 4 black currants and 12 apple tree rootstocks and 1 pear tree rootstock in the estonian origin.

An online variety store of fruit and berry crops is on display at

Phenological observations were carried out, data on winter resistance, resistance to plant diseases, yields were collected and biochemical analyses were carried out. The results have been worked out and summaries have been compiled.

The exchange of preservation for research and development, teaching and plant breeding was ensured in accordance with international agreements and procedural rules.

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Tartu University Botanical Garden

"Collecting and storing the genetic resource of medicinal, taste and ornamental plants in collection gardens."

Expeditions to South-Eastern Estonia and Hiiumaa were organized to collect the seeds of wild relative species of cultivated plants, during which the seeds of 11 species were collected.
Five expeditions were organized for the inventory of private collections of ornamental plants, during which new phlox and peony arets and deciduous and coniferous forms were introduced.
The collection of ornamental plants was replenished with 15 new preserves. The new preserves were planted in dendropark, peony, rose, clematis and heath garden. Three new species were planted in the collection of medicinal plants. Partial systematic renewal of the preserves took place in the yarn garden of life, collections of irises and herbs, and 6 preserves were planted in permanent collections from the propagating department.

458 varieties/breedings of local ornamental plants are stored in private collections. In the collections of the UT Botanical Garden, 154 preservations of ornamental plants and 76 medicinal and herbs are stored in at least two repetitions. 70 wild relative species of cultivated plants are preserved in the Estonian collection of wild plants, 9 of them
is represented in two repetitions in the Botanic Garden. 

In rose and clematis varieties, winter and disease resistance were assessed. On the preserve of 55 roses, soot and powdery mildew were assessed, and with 46 threads of life, wilting and powdery mildew were assessed.

Complete the FAO's Third Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and provide data on medicinal plants and herbs.

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