Vavilov and the first seed banks
Nikolai Vavilov wanted to breed a 'super crops' combining desirable combinations of characteristics from different varieties plants. Vavilov had studied in Europe with William Bateson and was inspired by the techniques of cross-breeding they had developed. He knew that plants with the characteristics he was looking for were found all over the world, and so he collected seeds and established the first seed bank.
Seed banks are now a repository of genetic material from both domesticated varieties and from wild type plants.