Institute of Plant Industry
The Institute of Plant Industry, Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry or All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Industry (in Russian: Всероссийский институт растениеводства им. Н. И. Вавилова), as it is officially called, is a research institute of plant genetics, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The Institute of Plant Industry was established in 1921. Nikolai Vavilov was the head of this institute from 1924 to 1936 and had, and still has, the world's largest collection of plant seeds. During the early 1930s, he became the target of the Lysenkoist debate and was exiled. The Institute's seedbank survived the 28-month Siege of Leningrad in World War II, where several botanists starved to death rather than eat the collected seeds. In 2010 the plant collection at the Pavlovsk Experimental Station was to be destroyed to make way for luxury housing. This was averted by order of President Dmitri Medvedev.
Siege of LeningradEdit
The Institute's extensive seed collection was an important target during the siege of Leningrad, Soviet officials took the time to evacuate the art from the city but neglected, or forgot to remove the world's largest seed collection. The scientists of the institute protected the seeds from the threats of the cold, the hungry residents of the besieged city, rats, and their own hunger. Twenty-eight of the botanists died during the siege, protecting their collection. 
- Rensberger, Boyce (May 13, 1992). "Scientists Died Guarding Seeds During Wwii". Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Rosenthal, Elisabeth (September 10, 2010). "Russia Defers Razing of Seed Repository". New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
A quick update on the battle to save a Russian seed bank, the Pavlovsk Research Station outside St. Petersburg: Scientists from across the globe have been appealing to President Dmitri Medvedev to rethink a government decision to allow the seed bank, home to the largest collection of European fruits and berries in the world, to be plowed away to make way for luxury homes.