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Seed store

seedstoreRummage around any potting shed or laboratory and you are bound to come across a packet or two of stored seeds. Great! But on closer inspection you find it hard to ascertain ‘what they are’, as the packets are either blank, half scribbled on, with data that over the years has become worn and un-intelligible. So you try to grow them anyway and you find that the viability is poor and germination erratic...

Welcome to the world of seed banks, vital for the storage, care and maintenance of seeds relating to specific research projects. Seed are living organisms needing adequate conditions that are constantly maintained in order to survive long term. At the Sainsbury Laboratory, the seed store provides a controlled environment giving the International Day Room Standard of 15% relative humidity at a temperature of 15˚C. This gives us the opportunity to store plants such as Arabidopsis for over 200 years, whilst still maintaining 85-95% viability