Тhe Institute of Plant Genetic Resources – In 1901 in Sadovo was established the first agricultural experimental station. Later, after state decision for on relocation of the Department of Plant Genetic Resources – Sofia, the experimental station in Sadovo developed at the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (IPGR). The beginning of an organized national program for the collection, evaluation and conservation of plant genetic resources in Bulgaria was created.
The Institute is in Sadovo, located in Central South Bulgaria, 15 km away from Plovdiv. Sadovo is the administrative center of the Municipality Sadovo. The area has a typical continental climate – warm summers and cold winters. In 1916 in the meteorological station – Sadovo was measured the highest temperature for Bulgaria – 45.20 C. The IPGR has 2,700 acres arable land, 1550 acres of which are experimental fields and 1150 hectares be seed base. The IPGR has a National Seed Genebank, botanical garden, herbarium, computer center and specialized laboratories: seed-investigation, plant protection, biochemistry, plant physiology, agricultural chemistry, plant biotechnology and quality of grain. In 1977 in IPGR – Sadovo was established the National Genebank of Bulgaria. The conservation of the biodiversity of crop varieties and their wild relatives is achieved by maintaining of three types of collections:
– Base-collection – long term storage maintenance of the seed samples under in hermetically closed containers, in low humidity of the seed and temperature – 18 ° C;
– Active Collection – ensures safe storage of seeds of 3-10y. at 6 ° C;
-Exchange collection – provides materials for free exchange with national and international partners;
The National gene bank supports over 56 000 samples, 41 648 of which under long term storage. That comprises more than 2670 taxa of cultivated and wild plants. The collection of the National Genebank was published in the electronic catalog of plant genetic resources EURISCO.
In 2002, as a results of funding from the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment in IPGR – Sadovo was created the Botanical garden with the main task conservation and of crop wild relatives (CWR) and landraces mainly with Bulgarian origin.