What to do with old pollen.

I’m not a hoarder by nature but my freezer is cluttered with bags full of baggies full of pollen that I have collected over the years. I tend not to use frozen pollen if fresh is at hand and, truth be told, I’ve probably really only dipped into a few percent of those baggies. I have, then wasted a lot of time collecting and processing pollen unnecessarily.

Moreover, my rose breeding has slowed to a crawl as I have decided to focus on a single breeder. Therefore it’s not really useful to me and, most likely, the viability of most of it is low (though I did prep it all pretty well for freezing).

I have all this pollen taking up room and every time I sort through it to find the fish sticks I think, really, why am I so reluctant to toss it all out?

One reason is that a lot of it is from cultivars that are now nearly or completely inaccessible - some of Ralph Moore’s hulthemias, rare cultivars of Sericea, classic HT’s like Happiness and Swarthmore, some of Paul Barden’s hybrids and so forth. I think, well, viability is low but not zero and a little is all you need and maybe I’ll decide to use some of it in the future.

Today I realized there may be another reason to keep it - posterity.

I was reading a special edition Nature Magazine published earlier this year titled Milestones in Genomic Sequencing - Milestones in Genomic Sequencing.

It seems that the cost of sequencing the entire genome of a given species is down below $1000 and continues to drop. It will inevitably become so inexpensive that it will be practical to sequence all that dna in my freezer. Does anyone think that my pollen hoard will be of interest when that happens?

I hope - considering somewhere in the near Arctic some northern European country (name in memory fog) spent $ $ $ on a seed bank vault and support infrastructure … viable (?) historical pollen bank seems intriguing concept - freezer in basement seems economical.

Rare history is usually worth archiving and preserving. Beside micro searching, for example, for residual woolly mammoth DNA seems to have become popular.

Who knows who might want the pollen.

That would be the Millenium Seed Bank in GB

Txs for the info, that makes two northern European banks l am aware of …

…. another is the Svalbard Global seed bank. Entrance monolith looks like a viking long boat in the process of burial. Its 810 miles from North Pole.

Quote from garden mag article:

By Claire Lui

“ In 2006, Norway began to build Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the ultimate seed bank-one that would survive all sorts of natural disasters-by building it inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island, located in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 810 miles from the North Pole.

The location was chosen for its Fortress of Solitude-like qualities (Superman, you may recall, also lived in the Artic) ”

Wow, that is impressive. Thank you for sharing.