The Australian Grains Genebank is custodian to over 190,000 types (accessions) of seed covering 1,250 species across 162 genera. This includes cultivated varieties and landraces (or traditional varieties) grown in farmers’ fields worldwide, breeding lines and wild relatives of temperate and tropical grain crop species. Germplasm originates from more than 150 countries, which cover a wide range of agroecological regions with a strong relevance to Australian growing conditions.
The genebank collection is comprised of temperate and tropical cereals, legumes, oilseeds and minor crops.
By proportion, the collection contains around 52% winter cereals, 25% temperate pulses, 12% tropical legumes and oilseeds, 7% tropical cereals and 4% temperate oilseeds and minor crops
About 95% of Australia’s agricultural plants are from overseas, and as such, most species held by the genebank originate from overseas. The Australian Grains Genebank also actively collects and conserves indigenous crop wild relatives that are unique to Australia for future prosperity.
These crop wild relatives naturally occur in a range of environments and survive under harsh environmental and climatic conditions. As such, they are a critical resource for use in research and breeding for future food and environmental security.