Scottish Landrace Protection Scheme (SLPS)

The Scottish Landrace Protection Scheme was launched by SASA in August 2006 to provide a safety net for the continued use of Scottish landraces by safely storing seed produced by each grower ex-situ in SASA’s freezers. In the event of poor harvest, a grower can request some of his or her seed already stored at SASA. With the consent of the donor, the stored seed can also be made available for research, breeding and education.

As landrace populations may be selected over many years for growing in a specific locality, they are not always suitable for growing in other places, Bere Barley from Orkney, for example, does not grow particularly well in South Uist. One of the aims of the SLPS is to prevent the loss of locally adapted landraces by removing the need for growers to source seed from other areas.

The SLPS holds collections for six Scottish landraces:

  1. Bere Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
  2. Small Oat (Avena strigosa)
  3. Hebridean Rye (Secale cereale)
  4. Shetland Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
  5. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
  6. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)

On receipt at SASA, each collected or donated seed sample is registered, examined for seed health and tested for germination. The growers are informed of the results and consent is sought for general distribution of seed. Seed is then cleaned, dried and stored at 22oC and a sub-sample is removed for safety duplication.

A minimum seed quantity is required for participation in the SLPS in order for it to fulfill all the functions of the scheme: emergency regeneration, re-supplying the donor, general distribution for bona fide research, breeding and education reasons, morphological and molecular characterisation and monitoring the germination and vigour in store.