Join us for "Conserving the Flora of Missouri and Beyond: Ex situ conservation of Missouri’s Flora in the Missouri Botanical Garden Seed Bank," presented by Megan Engelhardt, Seed Bank Manager at Missouri Botanical Garden.
Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) established a seed bank in 2012. The goals of the seed bank include 1) centralizing institutional long-term collections from MBG’s horticulture and research divisions 2) collecting and conserving samples of Missouri’s entire flora to help address Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. Species are targeted for collection using a wide range of factors including state and global conservation status, ecoregion fragility, redundancy in ex situ collections at the Garden or elsewhere, crop wild relative status, and to support additional institutional priorities. We work closely with public and private agencies to target a diverse set of locations for seed collection to maximize genetic variability in storage. Data associated with all accessions are recorded in a web-based Living Collections Management System (LCMS) as well as provided to state and local agencies to support their conservation efforts. The MBG seed bank currently holds 3,863 accessions of 761 different taxa including 32 globally imperiled or critically imperiled species (NatureServe). About 27% (564 taxa) of Missouri’s flora is stored in the seed bank, including 64 Species of Conservation Concern. As plants are propagated, data is recorded and stored in the LCMS which gives the ability to produce propagation protocols to aid in plant conservation efforts. Future directions include increase in viability testing, expanding our collection focus outside of Missouri, and supporting capacity building in seed banks around the world.