Plant genetic resources are considered the most valuable resources for each country, and essential sources for breeding programs. Iran is categorized as one of the richest countries considering the plant genetic resources. Utilization of these resources can lead to a significant improvement in plant production systems including agriculture, medicine, chemicals and industry. Thus for, protection of the national resources, and efficient utilization of the resources has extraordinary importance toward the national economic improvement.
The activities related to the conservation and use of genetic resources in Iran have been more than fifty years old and, since the establishment of "Department of Genetics and National Plant Gene Bank" in 1983, this activity has expanded more rapidly in recent years, the National Plant Gene Bank of Iran has been carrying out its duties and responsibilities in various fields of genetic diversity studies, collecting, identifying, conserving, regenerating and evaluation of genetic resources, documentation of information and exchange of genetic material of crops and wild relatives.
At present, the total number of genetic resources of crops and their wild relatives is 70,759 genetic samples, which are conserved in two conditions including, base collection (-18oC), and active collection (4oC). So far, more than 6,000 genetic samples have been collected from fruit tree species. This department, with the cooperation of more than fifty researchers at the headquarter and research centers on agricultural and natural resources in the provinces of the country carry out its activities. Also this department collaborates with experts from other international organizations and universities and international institutes abroad in their research programs.