The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership: a global network of seed banks conserving wild plant species and supporting agriculture, forestry, livelihoods, and restoration

E. Breman, S. Balding, S. Cable, N. Carvey, E. Castillo-Lorenzo, T. Chapman, C. Cockel, T. A. Cossu, J. Dickie, A. Faruk, K. Hardwick, A. Hudson, E. Mattana, S. Miles, H. Oldfield, J. Osborne, J. Peach, T. Pearce, C. Phillips, S. RakotoarisoaT. Ulian, M. Way, I. Willey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


With a focus on the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this chapter looks at the vital contribution made to conservation by this seed bank and those who work in partnership with it. The role of botanic gardens in seed banking is explored, together with the development of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP). The process of seed collecting and banking is outlined, together with the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to ex situ conservation. The importance of making high-quality collections is emphasized and discussed in relation to nomenclature, genetic diversity, sample size, viability and longevity, and the data associated with a seed collection. The role of the MSBP’s program of technology transfer is defined, and the need for access to collections stressed. Ensuring legal access and frameworks are in place for collecting, storing, and using plant material by a third party is explored. Case studies are presented highlighting the important uses to which MSBP collections can be put, both in the UK and overseas, including support for agriculture, forestry, livelihoods, and restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBotanical Gardens and their Role in Plant Conservation
Subtitle of host publicationGeneral Topics, African and Australian Botanical Gardens, Volume 1
EditorsT. Pullaiah, David A. Galbraith
PublisherCRC Press Inc
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781000922523
ISBN (Print)9781032252186
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023

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