Our center operates a unique genebank. The genebank is home to one of the world’s largest collections of germplasm of drought-, heat- and salt-tolerant plant species.
It stores over 16,000 accessions of around 300 plant species from more than 150 countries and territories. This also includes around 270 seed samples of 70 wild and cultivated plant species from the UAE.
Moreover, our genebank has about 5,000 accessions of barley, which is one of the largest in the Middle East, as well as more than 1,200 accessions of quinoa, which is the largest of its kind outside South America.
As part of the conservation of plant genetic resources in the UAE, our center conducts regular expeditions to different locations to collect some of the important indigenous species and deposit them in the genebank for the future.
As a result of these efforts, our scientists have been able to identify and study four local cereal genotypes (one landrace of barley and three landraces of wheat) in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, preserve Halfa grass from possible extinction, and uncover and document 30 plant species previously unknown to exist in the country.
ICBA also provides seed samples to different institutions around the world for research, breeding and introduction. To date our center has distributed nearly 9,000 seed samples to scientists, farmers, and other stakeholders in 60 countries.