Bermuda bean gets place in seed vault
The endangered Bermuda bean has earned a place in a conservation bank intended to preserve international species.
Samples of the species, which has been clinging to life in Bermuda, have now been stored at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, around 800 miles from the North Pole.
The vault is intended to protect seeds and crops against global catastrophe.
The Bermuda bean is extremely rare in the wild and is found only in rocky woodlands between Castle Harbour and Harrington Sound.
However, according to an article in New Food, samples of Bermuda bean were collected by the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew Botanical Gardens in London.
Since then, researchers for the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture have turned 15 samples into more than 6,000.
The article states that in addition to preserving the species, breeders could potentially use genes from the Bermuda bean to make crops more resilient to extreme weather conditions.
Marie Haga, executive director of the crop trust at the seed vault, said:: “Our mission at the crop trust is to safeguard crop diversity, for ever. This deposit of seeds like the wind-resistant Bermuda bean is one step towards fulfilling this mission.
“The gene banks we help manage are key to making biodiversity available to farmers and breeders around the world, ensuring our food is plentiful, affordable and nutritious for the future.”
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