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Green Biome Institute

The newly launched Green Biome Institute (GBI) is focused on conservation and faculty/student research involving genomic profiling and seed/tissue banking of California’s endangered plants. The GBI is the first conservation and genomic profiling institute in the California State University or University of California systems, and aligns with our focus on sustainability and the Biology faculty’s deep expertise in plant research.

Nearly 1,000 plants have been listed as threatened or endangered by the California Native Plant Society. These plants are in danger of being lost forever, with no understanding of their biology, ecological interactions, and potential human benefits.


The Challenge

Conservation efforts for California's endangered plants are fragmented and dispersed regionally.

  •     Plants that are hard to propagate (seedless or wet seeds) are not included in most seed banks.
  •     Endangered plants, including those with relatives that exhibit medicinal or important survival traits are often overlooked.
  •     Conservation organizations, government agencies, botanical gardens, and zoos do not have significant budgets to genetically profile their endangered plants.
  •     Students are looking for meaningful, hands-on projects to learn world class laboratory techniques and support genomics research.


Our Mission

  • Contribute to conservation and medicinal research by producing draft sequence assemblies of the nuclear genome, the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes, the transcriptome, and the microbiome for 300 endangered California plants by 2026.
  • Support the conservation of plant species by providing population genomics data and by advancing propagation, cloning, and seed banking of hard-to-store plants in collaboration with Botanical Gardens and other conservation-focused institutions.
  • Through the use genomic sequencing data and metabolomics, uncover the medicinal potential of 100 endangered California plants and contribute to the discovery of new sources of important medicinal compounds by 2026.
  • Make all GBI data public and freely available.
  • Sponsor meaningful, equitable, and inclusive student training and mentorship in areas including Conservation Biology, Genomics, and Drug Discovery.
  • Prepare a diverse student population to contribute and succeed in science careers and to become our future leaders.

College of Science
  • Cal State East Bay
  • 5800 Carlos Bee Blvd.