Dried specimens of wheat from IPK's collection of cultivated plants and wild relatives. IPK (Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research) has the largest collection of food plants in the European Community, with over 430,000 plant specimens and 160,000 associated seeds, including 28,000 accessions of wheat. Many of the older wheat varieties have long "awns," the hair-like extensions on the tip. IPK's collection includes perfectly preserved specimens dating back as far as 1908. While collecting samples in Romania in 1994, Dr. Pistrick met a farmer's wife who said she preferred growing the long-awn variety as the wild pigs didn't like to eat it. Most of the old varieties don't have the high yield or nutritional qualities that have been developed into modern hybrids, but they hold genetic traits that are valuable for developing future varieties. Seeds held in cold storage (-15°C at IPK) can last with some 80% viability for over 40 years, and 8,000 are replanted and harvested annually on a twenty-year rotation to ensure their viability into the future.