“Seed banks were set up primarily to preserve the seeds of economically important crops, to keep a living bank of tissue with which we can grow these plants again in the future. The genome project is to preserve the genomic history and content of these plants so we can understand how life works.”
Oh yeah, because places like the Millennium Seed Bank don’t help at all in preserving the genomic content of plants and “understanding how life works.” And of course this has never been thought of before.
Comprehensive repositories of this kind would be “cool to have”, says Henrique Miguel Pereira, head of biodiversity conservation at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig. “But is it really the most important thing?” he asks.