Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 in Cleveland Seed Bank, News | Comments Off on Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project

We are proud to announce our participation in the Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project!


Seeds from the Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project


The Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project aims to understand the nature of microbial inheritance in seeds. Since it has become clear that beneficial microorganisms can be inherited in seeds, and we know that long-term, positive ecological interactions between seeds and microbes can help us develop a more resilient and adaptive food system, understanding this relationship is of great significance. Yet, as the project states on its website “we still have much to learn about how these microbes are associated with plants and how they are inherited across generations.” This project aims to further our understanding by tracking many seeds, in many soils and climates, and following generational shifts in communities of seed-borne microbes.


As a participatory research project, the project is dependent on seed stewards around the nation to grow out seeds in different environments, and send samples back so that the microbial communities in the seeds can be compared to those of previous generations. Which microbes are present? Which are rare? Abundant? What’s changed? These are a few of the questions the project seeks to answer, and, ideally, they’ll be answering them for some time – this network of seed savers will hopefully persist for years to come.


Cleveland Seed Bank, our domestic initiative, met the lead scientists for Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project this past February at the Organic Seed Alliance’s bi-annual conference. It was there that we learned all about their important work and obtained the seeds necessary to do our part to help.


We are pleased and excited to be a part of this exciting endeavor, and have committed to growing out Cascade Ruby Gold Flint Corn this season, and to send back seed samples when the growing season is over. We will be informed of the project’s findings, and will be able to compare them to the findings of the community as whole. We look forward to sharing more information with you as we progress along this fascinating journey, and hope that this, like all our efforts, will contribute to a more resilient food system.


Microbial Inheritance in Seeds Project - Cascade Ruby Gold Flint Corn

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