Nikolai Vavilov (1887â€“1943) was a Russian geneticist and botanist who, through botanic-agronomic expeditions, collected seeds from all over the world. He set up one of the first seedbanks, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). It contains an extensive collection of more than 5,000 varieties of fruits and berries which survived the 28-month Siege of Leningrad in World War II. Several botanists starved to death rather than eat the collected seeds. It is now known as the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry. Nikolai Vavilov was the head of this institute from 1924 to 1936 which had, and still has, the world's largest collection of plant seeds.
To preserve seeds for the future, for the study and improvement of wheat, corn, and other cereal crops.
His theories and the seed bank itself have been used as resources for numerous studies. His name is used as reference when citing a botanical name.