The Sea Buckthorn Collection in Germany - an Example for the Necessity of Keeping and Sustainable Using of Genetic Resources

Manfred Fischer, IPK Gatersleben, Germany

Hans-Joachim Albrecht, Berlin, Germany


Genetic resources are a treasure chamber for the future. Nobody can today predict what characteristics could suddenly be of interest, if calamitous damage will be caused by pests, whether climate changes will lead to changes in the presence of harmful organisms, if eating habits will change and the like. Only in a (publicy-financed) gene bank it is possible to also keep varieties and species for which there is no recent demand or the usefulness of which is not immediately evident. A gene bank therefore has the task of keeping and evaluating genetic resources, i.e. old and new varieties. And their long-term preservation is only able to be ensured through a sustainable utilisation of genetic resources. In view of the world-wide threat to autochthonous genetic resources, gene bank work organised and co-ordinated along international participatory lines is becoming ever more important. It needs to organise an international co-operation and database systems for an inventory of national genetic resources, so that a better knowledge will be possible about the existence of varieties and temporary problems.

Maintenance is expensive for vegetatively propagated species and varieties, like sea buckthorn or fruit. The German sea buckthorn collection comprises at present all in Germany bred and selected cultivars and clones. The accessions are evaluated for agronomic and processing properties. The variability of ascorbic acid varies between 89 and 340 mg %, of carotene between 6.5 and 23.8 mg % and of oil between 1.6 and 7.4 %. The results and the necessity of durable preservation and supplementation of the collection and his continuous evaluation will be discussed.