The major duty of the Plant Genetic Resources Institute of the National Centre for Biodiversity and Gene Conservation is the implementation of the basic national gene bank tasks related to the preservation of crops and vegetables. The institute performs complete gene bank activities including the development of the national gene bank collections, their agrobotanical analysis and assessment, documentation and dissemination besides their medium and long term conservation in cooled seed storage rooms, plantations or in some cases through in vitro cultures. Further tasks include organization and coordination related to the conservation of Hungarian landraces and ecotypes – well adapted to the local conditions – at their original production sites (“in situ” or “on-farm”) and the arrangement and implementation of seed collection activities. In addition, through the Pannon Seed Bank project – implemented within the framework of the EU LIFE+ programme – the activities of the institute also cover the ex situ conservation of the genetic resources of wild vascular plants.
Besides being the basis institute for the protection of the genetic resources of wild and cultivated plants in Hungary, the Plant Genetic Resources Institute of the National Centre for Biodiversity and Gene Conservation is also responsible for the professional coordination of the gene preservation activities of the other Hungarian institutes, the operation of the National Base Storage Room and the National Safety Duplication Storage Room, the compilation of the National Database of Genetic Reserves and the coordination of Hungarian and international cooperation programmes related to the national gene preservation activities under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Plant Gene Bank Council.