Preserving Earth's Plant Diversity

Green plants are one of the most diverse groups of life on Earth. Since the Egyptian Pharaohs started the world's first arboretum, the importance of preserving the diversity of plant life has been understood. Today, all across the world, green houses, arboretums, and seed banks are working to preserve plant diversity. GGI helps to take their missions to the next level with its project: GGI Gardens.

Gathering the Evidence

Smithsonian scientists possess an unparalleled wealth of knowledge about Earth's flora and fauna. They are experts on the Tree of Life and know which organisms to collect. Surprisingly, we only need to sample a small fraction of the planet's species in order to vastly improve our knowledge of its genomic diversity.

Earth’s Bounty, On Ice

Researchers from a variety of disciplines will study the plant and animal samples we gather, today and far into the future. We are preserving them in huge sub-zero freezers, in perpetuity.

The National Museum of Natural History's new biorepository can hold more than 4 million samples. As the tools for decoding genomes improve, researchers can return to these collections to extract new information.

An Entomologist, Arachnologist, and Illustrator Walk into the woods

Posted June 22, 2015 - 12:00am

Well, it was actually several entomologists, and together this group conducted a two-day, BioBlitz-style, sampling of Southern Appalachian terrestrial (living on land) invertebrates for genomic preservation! Read on for details from one of our first GGI collecting expeditions!

Preserving and Understanding the genomic diversity of life on Earth

Posted May 21, 2015 - 12:00am

An introduction to the Global Genome Initiative from its Director, Jonathan A. Coddington.


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