Tayside and Central Scotland

Scottish institute contributes rare potato seeds to global vault

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Media captionGenetic potato material sent to global seed vault

A global seed vault designed to protect resources from future environmental catastrophes has received the first genetic potato material from the UK.

The seeds are part of the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC) based at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee.

The material will be stored at the Global Seed Vault, which is housed in a mountain on an island halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

The CPC was established in the 1930s by British botanists and collectors.

It is one of seven large potato genetic banks in the world and aims to safeguard the genetic diversity of the crop.

Valuable resources

The potato genetic material held in trust by the James Hutton Institute with support from the Scottish government.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The contribution of seeds from Scotland's Commonwealth Potato Collection underlines the global importance of the science undertaken at the James Hutton Institute and our commitment to protecting our plant collections.

"Protecting these seeds in the vault ensures that the Commonwealth Potato Collection will be available for future potato breeders to cope with challenges which may arise as a result of climate change and will help maintain both Scotland's economy and global food security."

The James Hutton Institute's chief executive, Prof Colin Campbell, said: "By consigning CPC genetic material into the Global Seed Vault, we hope to preserve these valuable genetic resources for generations to come."

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