Institute of Plant Genetic Resources
The Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (IPGR), as a primary unit of Agricultural University of Tirana, is the national institution which coordinates the activities in the field of conservation and management of plant genetic resources (PGR). It is a relatively new institution which had been originally established as the Genetic Resources Centre to operate the National Gene Bank.
IPGR’s overall aim is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) in Albania. To do so, the institute attempts to coordinate all efforts on PGRFA undertaken by the Agricultural University of Tirana and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
IPGR’s activities include:
- planning and undertaking of germplasm exploration and collection at national level;
- proper handling of all collected germplasm samples;
- long-term conservation of germplasm in the institute’s ex situ facilities and its timely regeneration;
- research on characterization and evaluation on specific traits of germplasm;
- introduction and sustainable use of germplasm;
- exchange of germplasm and information at national and international levels;
- training, education and organization of technical meetings and workshops;
- coordination of PRFA research and development with central institutions and regional projects.
Short History of the Plant Genetic Resources Institute
Albanian Genebank was established in 1998. Law No. 8732, dated 24.01.2001 “On propagating plant material” recognized the Albanian Gene Bank as a scientific research institution of national importance. Through Decision No. 515 of the Council of Ministers about the “Restructuring of the Scientific Research Institutions”, the Genebank passed under the authority of the Agricultural University of Tirana in July 2006. In 2008 the Senate of the Agricultural University of Tirana decided to establish the Genetic Resources Centre and to assign it the responsibility of running the Gene Bank. In November 2015, the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources has been established, replacing the Genetic Resources Centre.
Three Research Groups operates under the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources:
- Field Research Group (Cereals, Forages, Industrial crops, Medicinal and Aromatic plants).
- Horticulture Research Group (Vegetables, Fruit Trees, Grape, Subtropical, Olive and Citrus).
- Documentation Research Group (Documentation, Database, Information and Publication).