Our mission is to acquire, evaluate, preserve and provide a collection of genetic resources in order to guarantee the biological diversity, maintaining that the medical cannabis is preserved in a sustainable agricultural way. Through research for genetic improvement, creation of new and better breeds, provision and administration in strain management, adaptability to the territory and diligent communication.
“The necessity to conserve plant genetic resources can no longer be doubted: destruction of natural habitats, replacement of multiple cropping systems by monocultures and replacement of traditional varieties with high-yielding crops produce genetic erosion and diversity loss of crops and plants. Genetic resources are vital for crop improvement programs as sources of new genes eg diseases and resistance to pests. They are also vital as sources of pharmaceutical products and new industrial and food products, potential as new crops.”
Andrew Praciak – Department of Plant Science and Natural Resources, CAB INTERNATIONAL, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, United Kingdom
1. Acquisition of crop germplasm
2. Conservation of crop germplasm
3. Evaluation of crop germplasm
4. Documentation of crop germplasm
5. Distribution of crop germplasm
6. Preserving the genetic diversity of plants
Our goals: Promoting, through our partners and in our own name, research for genetic improvement and stabilization of breeds, improving genetics for greater adaptability to the different thermal floors of the Colombian and world territory, serving as information system for documentation of plant, genetic and microbial germplasm. Operating and improving existing databases, creating and improving links with other databases on genetic resources and sharing information and technology on the documentation of
Our approach: Support will be provided to existing cannabis medical databases that serve the genetic resources program in order to ensure that they are functional and relevant to the administrators´ and curators´ needs of collections and the germplasm user community. They will be updated to highly specialized application software, as appropriate, to ensure that it remains compatible with hardware updates and that it complies with the requirements for germplasm maintenance and documentation and the information exchange. Appropriate measures will be taken in order to guarantee security of databases and containing data. Contacts will continue and new contacts will be established to explore the need and feasibility of creating new or improving links to share information with other genetic resource databases. The seed samples and our genetic resources are stored in the seed vault, they are sample copies of all our Colombian, Canadian, American and Jamaican researchers. Plant breeders and other groups that wish to access seed samples may do so through our commercial area. The samples stored in the seed vault will, in most cases, be accessible in accordance with the terms and conditions of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, approved by 118 countries.
“The seed vault works like a safe in a bank, the bank owns the building and the depositor owns the box content.”
ONE LOVE COLOMBIA SAS owns the facility and the depositing breeders own the seeds they send. The storage of vault samples does not constitute a legal transfer of genetic resources. In Coop’s terminology this is called a “black box” agreement. Each depositor signs a Deposit Agreement with One Love, acting on behalf of a member. The agreement shows clearly that One Love does not claim ownership of deposited samples and that the property remains with the depositor, who has the exclusive right to access those materials in the seed vault. Nobody has access to anyone’s seeds from the seed vault. The database of samples and depositors is maintained by One Love. The seeds are stored in sealed envelopes of four layers and then are placed in plastic containers on metal shelves. The warehouses are maintained at -18° C (0° F). The low temperature and the limited access to oxygen guarantee a low metabolic activity and delay the seed aging. The permafrost that surrounds the installation will help to maintain the low temperature of the seeds in case of electricity failure.
Maintenance of healthy seed collections
What happens with the seeds in the storage collections? Seeds, even those that are kept in good storage conditions, eventually lose their ability to germinate and grow. At the plant introduction stations, the samples of each adhesion are subjected to germination tests every 5 years. When the seeds designated for public distribution show a germination success of less than 85 %, the adhesion must be “grown” to preserve viability. In the culture, each sample or adhesion is sown and pollinated under controlled conditions so that the plants only reproduce within that adhesion and so that the gene sample remains pure for that type. All the storage collections described above are called ex situ storage. This means that a representative seed sample from a particular location was collected and conserved in a place away from the original cultivation site. This is an important method to preserve materials, since the duplication of samples in several storage sites reduces the risk of loss through a catastrophic event (fire, meteorology or even sabotage). But there are negative aspects of ex situ storage. For example, each time an adhesion is generated, there is a risk of losing some genetic variation due to random sampling. For example, if a genetic variation is rare (eg only 1 out of 100 seeds has this characteristic), then if only 250 plants are used in the growth, it is possible that the genetic variant is lost. This is especially important for features not visible to the eye. The other problem with ex situ storage is that the samples are static: they are gene samples at a certain time, but they do not reflect any change or response to the environment. For these reasons many people believe that conservation in situ or on the farm is also important. In situ collections grow in places where they occurred historically. These collections can be the varieties used by farmers. Climate change, as well as plant pest evolution, are reasons why it is important to maintain a dynamic and evolving collection of in-situ materials.
- Seeds are received through the postal service or an express mail service.
- The seeds are placed at 5° C until they are not packed, registered and inventoried (1 – 5 days).
- The moisture content of the seed is adjusted to 5° C and 25 % relative humidity for 3 – 4 weeks.
- Seeds can be stored temporarily at -18° C for a period of up to 4 months, pending an initial viability assessment by standard germination tests.
- The seed quality is evaluated through germination tests using the rules of the Association of Official Seed Analysts as a guide. The germination data are entered into the PCMG database. The germination procedures are specific for each species. In most circumstances, four repetitions of 50 seeds are scored for initial germination assessments. For seeds considered for long-term storage of liquid nitrogen, two of the four replicates are exposed to liquid nitrogen for 24 hours before germination.
- The seed sample is weighed to determine the seed number.
- The seed is packaged in a stratifiable laminated aluminum bag.
- The package is labeled with barcode and location identity labels.
- Data on the seeds´ weight, number and storage place are entered in the database.
- The packaged seed is placed in the storage vault of -18° C of PGGRP or liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. Seed for security storage (black box). Seeds that receive steps 1 – 2 and 9 – 11 are pre-packaged in laminated aluminum bags.