Tuscia Germplasm Bank, Tuscia University, Viterbo (Italy).
Phone: +39 0761 357091
The Tuscia Germplasm Bank is a research centre engaged in ex situ conservation of germplasm of endemic, rare or endangered species of the Italian flora. Since 2008, most of its research and activities have been focused on issues related to the conservation of terrestrial orchids. Currently, the Tuscia Germplasm Bank preserves over 200 seed accessions of 60 orchid taxa (about 30% of the Italian orchids) belonging to 17 genera: especially Ophrys, Anacamptis, Orchis and Epipactis, and also Limodorum, Serapias, Dactylorhiza, Neotinea, Cypripedium, Spiranthes, Himantoglossum, Neottia, Platanthera, Cephalanthera, Epipogium, Barlia, and Listera. Among the preserved taxa there are some threatened orchids such as Anacamptis palustris (Jacq.) R.M. Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W. Chase, Epipactis placentina Bongiorni & Grünanger, Limodorum trabutianum Batt., and Cypripedium calceolus L..Also, some of the so-called “policy species” (listed in the Annexes of Habitat Directive or Berne Convention) like Himantoglossum adriaticum H. Baumann and Orchis provincialis Balb. ex Lam. & DC., and Italian endemics, such as Limodorum brulloi Bartolo & Pulv., Ophrys argentaria Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers, O. exaltata Ten. subsp. montis-leonis (O. Danesch & E. Danesch) Soca, O. sphegodes Mill. subsp. garganica E. Nelson, and O. sphegodes Mill. subsp. majellensis Helga & Herm. Daiss.
Germplasm collection and storage activities are combined with reproductive biology studies, both in situ and ex situ. Fruit-set studies and assessment of germination, growth, and development capability are carried out to evaluate the reproductive success within the genera Anacamptis, Limodorum, Ophrys, Dactylorhiza, and Serapias. Moreover, protocols for asymbiotic germination and in vitro reproduction have been tested, investigating the effects of medium type, nitrogen source, and of scarifying methods.
Main contact for the group
Sara Magrini is an enthusiastic pteridologist and a passionate orchidologist who works in the Tuscia Germplasm Bank as the Scientific Coordinator since 2006 for the conservation of endemic or endangered species of the Italian flora. Currently, she is a member of the Executive Board of RIBES, the Italian network of germplasm banks, and a member of the Orchid Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. She is engaged in all the aspects concerning the conservation of terrestrial orchid, especially, seed conservation, in vitro reproduction and in situ conservation. She is a member of the Italian Red List Authority, actively involved in red listing activities, particularly, for the assessment of the status of risk of threatened orchids. Recently, she published the book “Esperienze di conservazione delle orchidee” (in Italian) and currently, she is working with Philip Seaton for the English version.
Other members of the group
Laura Zucconi is the Scientific Head of the Tuscia Germplasm Bank.
Genet Haile is a laboratory technician of the Tuscia Germplasm Bank, that deals with cleaning of the seeds, their storage in vials, and their labelling.
Sergio Buono is an orchidologist belonging to GIROS - Italian Group for Research on Wild Orchids. He is an external collaborator of the Tuscia Germplasm Bank, actively involved in the localization and monitoring of wild populations of orchids and in the seed collection.