The Global Genome Initiative (GGI) was founded with the goal Preserving and Understanding Earth’s Genomic Biodiversity. In order to achieve this mission, GGI-Gardens was founded to collect and preserve genome-quality tissue samples from at least one species belonging to each family, 50% of the genera, and all species of plants on Earth. To carry out this ambitious goal, GGI-Gardens is partnering with arboreta, botanic gardens, and greenhouses worldwide to leverage the incredible diversity contained within these living collections.
In January 2015 the GGI-Gardens established a collaboration to sample vascular plants from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States that included five partner gardens (Smithsonian Gardens and Department of Botany Greenhouse, US Botanic Garden, US National Arboretum and the USDA Germplasm Farm). Since this time, GGI-Gardens has expanded into an international partnership that continues to grow.
GGI-Gardens Membership Opportunities
Contributing Organization: Includes GGI-Gardens Partners that actively collect voucher specimens from their living collections and contribute this material to a GGBN Member biorepository and recognized herbarium.
Supporting Organization: Includes GGI-Gardens Partners that support the GGI-Gardens mission as a signatory party (Member Organization) to this MOC, but do not actively provide voucher material from their living collection. These members are part of the GGI-Gardens Cooperative and have access to all benefits of GGI-Gardens partnership, as outlined in the GGI-Gardens Partner Benefits Portfolio.
As of December 2018, the GGI-Gardens includes 19 international signatory Partners. Since December 2019, GGI has genome-quality tissue collections from 17 botanical gardens representing six countries on four continents, making these collections available for discovery on the GGBN Web Portal. Collection protocols at partner institutions can be easily integrated into regular garden inventory operations or organized with a small group of volunteers or interns. GGI-Gardens coordinates with its partners to develop easy-to-follow collections protocols and workflows, as well as data management resources. We can also provide education and training and connect partners with nearby biorepository and herbarium resources.
GGI-Gardens is a cost effective and highly impactful international program that seeks to provide solutions to one of the 21st Century’s greatest challenges for biodiversity science - collecting and identifying global biodiversity for conservation and research. Tissues collected by GGI-Gardens and its partners inform conservation efforts and support plant conservation efforts (e.g., Targets 3, 8, 15, and 16 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation). The GGI-Gardens program is facilitating worldwide programs that seek to preserve plant biodiversity before it is gone. Living collections at botanic gardens around the world contain an incredible amount of plant diversity – let’s preserve it together!