The Genetic Resources Institute of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences was established in early 2003 by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic on the basis of the Institute of Genetics and Selection in order to ensure of creation and management suitable country network for the collection, protection and effective use of consistent and purposeful research of genetic resources of biodiversity. The main scientific directions of institute is consist of evaluation according to the international descriptors, inventory, certification, collection, introduction, restoration, reproduction of the cultivated plants and their wild ancestors and valuable, rare, threatened and endangered genus, species, native varieties and forms, the local breeds of agricultural animals, works to protect and research of scientific issues related to protection under ex situ and in situ and were founding scientific research to identify sustainable, highly productive quality samples and involving them to the selection work and coordinate of the country's institutions in relevant fields. More than 11 international and 30 local expeditions, as well as domestic and international scientific exchange about 10 thousand accessions of endemic, relict forms and to 395 genera, 1,110 species of rare and valuable varieties of folk selection cereals, grain legumes, fruit, vegetables and melons, fodder, medicinal plants and alternative which is collecting by having a very great scientific and practical value have been organized reliable security in the National Genebank of the Institute. These samples were evaluated according to morphological, physiological, biochemical, immunological, technological, cytogenetic and economically valuable indicators and is selecting with the purpose to make effective use of high quality to biotic and abiotic stresses resistant donor forms.
The National Genebank was established for the first time in the South Caucasus and Central Asia (CAC) region, having a medium (20-30 years) and long-term (50-100 years) storage opportunity in the Institute. In the garden of genetic fund of the Institute, collected with no analogues in the world, 360 samples of varieties and forms reflecting the evolutionary dynamics of ploidy series ranging from 28 to 308 of mulberry since the middle of last century. Unfortunately, consist of more than 100,000 samples the national gene pool, collected over 40 years by 1700 hectares of planted area in greenhouses and warehouses of Karabakh Research Base of the institute completely had been burned and destroyed forever by the Armenian invaders. More than 6,500 samples of local plant genetic diversity complexly evaluated, also more than 550 donor forms were found are effectively used in breeding programs for food security which is having economic valuable genes and resistant to stress factors. On their basis new varieties and forms have been created in the scientific research institutes of the republic and also IGR. Two varieties of cotton have been present to the State Commission for Testing and Protection of Selection Achievements AR which are superior with the complex characterization from the standard variety. More than 200 samples have been certified according to genetic formulas. The scientific bases of hereditary prediction and functional diagnostic of potential in life and life expectancy of plant samples which was stored in Gene bank have been developed. As a result of the complex hybridization between genes mechanism of the creation of a new type of low-growing and branching form of wheat has been found and found that this trait is controlled by a recessive gene. The reason for the lack of a proper level the degree of conjugation of chromosomes during the meiosis process in hybrids between types of wheat, have been explain due to the autonomy of the evolution of the genome, as well as genes and gene components of each type of system regulating the process of meiosis. The block of new allele components of gliadin-coded locis identified in some samples of wheat and wheat hybrids. For the first time have been identified allele components of hordein-encoded loci’s which is controlling the synthesis of storage proteins hordeins in the grains of wild, two, and six-row barley crop species which was collected from different regions of the country. A few highly productive forms of hard and soft wheat derived from hybridization between types, 15 promising forms of fruit and berry plants having complex valuable economic characteristics and resistant to diseases and pests, have successfully passed from the selection stages. The method of creating new mulberry silkworm species which was developed in a short period with spending less means and time, having complex high-performance. 2 new species and 2 hybrids of mulberry silkworm have been district by the State Commission for Testing and Protection of Selection Achievements and are applied to farm. 2 other species and 2 hybrids have been present. Now began the process of returning and collecting of Azerbaijani origin samples to the Genetic Resources Institute accumulated in the gene banks of foreign countries. For this, appropriate arrangements have been obtained with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Russian Institute of Plant-growing, the ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) and several international, regional and national gene banks. The restoration and reproduction process of rare, valuable plants, collections of great importance in the world and also returned samples are carried out in experimental fields of Institute. The institute is carried out establishing close cooperation joint scientific explorations, expeditions researches, exchange activities with international and regional organizations (FAO - The Food and Agriculture Organization of UN, ECPGR - The European Cooperation Program on Plant Genetic Resources, The International Biodiversity - (formerly IPGRI - The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute), the ICARDA - The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, CIMMYT - The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, The International Trust Fund on PGR (Trust-Fund), The N.I.Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry, The International Institute of Vegetable, USDA - The State Department of Agriculture of the United States and etc.), scientific institutions and gene banks of foreign countries (USA, Russia, Japan, The Central Asian republics, Germany, Turkey, India, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, etc.). In Azerbaijan for the first time, the Central Information Database which establishing on the basis of certification genetic resources of plant collected in accordance with the National Program have been posted on the sites of The Europe Internet Search Catalogue on Genetic Resources of Plant (EURISCO) and The Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO). That base of information has been evaluated one of the most advanced and complete information systems at the field of genetic resources of plant in the Europe, also South Caucasus and the region of Middle Asia by the heads FAO, IPGRI and ICARDA. Prepared the Country Report about the condition of Animal Genetic Resources in Agriculture has been present to FAO. Preparation relevant annual reports are a constant. In 2004 with the active participation of the institute was prepared the first National Report dedicated to the condition, management and prospects of biodiversity in the country. The national report was covered the whole range of issues related to biodiversity, also clearly shows the status of implementation the Convention on Biological Diversity in the country, have been offered advices on the future strategic planning. Prepared on the basis of this "The Plan of National Strategy and the Activity for the protection and long-term use of biodiversity in the Republic of Azerbaijan" was adopted in 2006 by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and is implemented right now. Fulfillment articles about the institutions of ANAS of the Plan of National Strategy and the Activity is coordinated by the Genetic Resources Institute and annual reports are prepared on the basis of the received information. The Institute is also actively involved in the preparation and implementation of a number of other national programs. It may be note the "The State program on solid providing with food of population in 2008-2015 in the Azerbaijan Republic". On the basis of the signed agreement in 2006 between FAO and the Institute have been carried out monitored the implementation of the Food and Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources (FAPGR) according to Global Activity Plan (GAP) in Azerbaijan, at the first time, established the National Information Exchange Mechanism (NIEM) and country network under the PGR, created Database and Internet portal of mechanism, prepared strategic 2nd State Report that explain the status of FAPGR. This report was presented to the FAO and the highly evaluated by experts of this organization. The National Information Exchange Mechanism and its databases was highly appreciated according to wealth by the experts of FAO as one of the two best works among the 37 countries in which this mechanism has been established until this time. The program is carrying out about update and development of NIEM from 2010. 14 scientific institutes of country have been involved in this program working on the field of PGR. The Institute was directly participated in the preparation of the Regional (South Caucasus and Middle Asia) Strategy (2007) and the Regional Database (2007) on PGR. Due to greater integration into international information systems has become possible to implement measures to return back samples of Azerbaijani origin, collected in gene banks international centers and implement a project of the International Trust Fund for the restoration of the national gene fund, as well as was possible to implement through cooperation agreements with a number of international organizations to carry out activities under the Agreement Memorandum about the development of an information database of the National Gene Fund in conjunction with the International Biodiversity (IPGRI). Scientific results received upon successful implementation of the National Program on Plant Genetic Resources of scientists and specialists of the Institute was repeatedly presented to over 100 international conventions, congresses, seminars, and symposiums and other prestigious events appreciated by international organizations. During the past 7 years more than 1,000 scientific work, including 6 monographs, 10 books, over 500 articles have been published that covered issues of variety about genetic resources. In the last years have been defended 2 doctoral, 19 candidacy thesis, also more than 30 employees have passed training courses in the international research centers and was participated in the international research programs. The heads and experts of institute regularly involved to the work of gene bank management, the activities on FAPGR, research of the wild ancestors of cultural plants and other wild plants, the preparation of international level documents, projects, strategy and programs under the database and information systems about PGR and put through international training courses and seminars in relevant fields. 10 national seminars and over 20 training courses which cover different areas under the PGR, the International Conference dedicated to Genetic Resources of Biodiversity in 2006 have been held by the organization of Institute during the last 4 years with the participation of relevant government institutions and the general public, as well as with international experts and scientists. Director of the Institute was elected a member of the scientific organization committee of the International Scientific Conference dedicated to Genetic Resources of Fruit Crops, which was held in 19-24 March 2011 in Los Angeles, USA and received an official invitation to participate in this prestigious event from the State Department of Agriculture of the United States. Employees of the Institute is successfully represented Azerbaijan in a lot of international and regional networks. The scientists of Institute are participated as expert in the network of coordination groups about plants at the program of ECPGR, as well as many international and regional plant networks. The most valuable specimens of plants safely protected in the seed and field gene banks collected by the way of regularly held local and international expeditions and scientific exchange has been increasing in the areas of the institute and use effectively. The scientists of Institute participating in international expeditions, together with scientists from Russia and Japan in 2003, Australia, Syria, the United Kingdom in 2004, the United States in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, Syria in 2007-2008, France in 2008, Russia and Japan in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Russia, the Netherlands and Spain in 2010 serve to enrich their national gene banks with to collect valuable collection materials. Can say that international expedition held 2-14 August 2010 about to collect seed samples, examine the status of genetic resources (especially people's selection of varieties and wild ancestors) vegetable and melon plants in different regions of the country have successfully completed conducted jointly with scientists from Spain (1), Netherlands (2), Russia (1) and Azerbaijan (2). During the expedition had collected about 750 samples. All of these activities, as well as the Central Database on PGR and the National Information Exchange Mechanism creates high image of Azerbaijan in the worldwide.
Participation in the international multilateral and bilateral research programs:
The Institute continues its participation as a partner in the research programs of FAO, ECPGR, International Biodiversity, ICARDA, Trust Fund and other international organizations and networks. Wheat and barley collection of Institute selected as a world significant collection by FAO and Trust Fund. The agreement was signed for the restoration and solid protection of these collections. Wheat and barley samples were studied after recovery in 2008-2009 have been sent to the Global Gene bank created in the eternal glacier in the Spitsbergen Island of Norway (Svalbard Global Seed Vault) in order to secure solid protection as well as the same samples of barley have been sent to the ICARDA (Aleppo, Syria) and the samples of wheat to CIMMYT (Mexico City, Mexico). In 2009 the relevant agreement was signed with Trust Fund recovery, the samples were stored in the gene banks of legumes and corn, and on the basis of small grants (13,000 manats for 2 years) still continue to work on their recovery. The agreement was signed with the participation of Azerbaijan on the phase VIII of ECPGR. Scientists and experts who represent Azerbaijan continue their activities in the Working Groups operating within the ECPGR. International research work on the study of viral diseases of legumes in Azerbaijan continues in the presence of scientists of ICARDA and IGR. For the studying of viral diseases of fruit crops and training in relevant field, are also attracted foreign experts (from INRA- (Centre for Research on Agriculture in French) - renowned research institution in France) Dr. Veronique Ducrook - the leading specialist of the Department of Virology and Dr. Ahmad Hayirpur - French scholar of Azerbaijani origin).International research work on "search for resistant genotypes and viral diseases of fruit crops in Azerbaijan" has been continued with INRA. The Institute participated in the international scientific research in conjunction with the Washington Arboretum and the University of California of USA, Central Botanical Garden of ANAS, Bioresources Institute of Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy on the studying of "the present situation of fruit and greenery-decorative plants in Azerbaijan". The scientists of Russia (VIR) and Japan (University of Okojama) within the collaborators of institute participated together in the international research for studying on the wild ancestors of wheat plants in Azerbaijan. An agreement which provides a comprehensive scientific cooperation about genetic resources was signed with All-Russia Research Institute of Vegetable Growing. It continued activities under cooperation agreements signed with the N.I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry, the All-Russia Research Institute of Vegetable Growing, Russian Institute of Pulses, Plant Genetic Resources Centre of Ukraine, the Aegean Institute of Agricultural Research of Turkey, the Institute of Plant-growing of Uzbekistan, Cytogenetic Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus and other organizations, as well as the work has been continued on the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the International Biodiversity (IPGRI). Together Research has been conducted with the scientists from Australia and Syria on the studying endurance of saltiness and drought on the wheat samples.