The Plant Gene Bank at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia operates as part of the Slovenian Plant Gene Bank National Programme (SRGB). The SRGB programme was established in the second half of the 1990s and has been operating as a public service in agriculture since 2000. The Gene Bank at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia is one of the four gene banks that operate as part of the SRGB and is also the largest of the four. However, the beginnings of the Gene Bank at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia are much older. The expert and research programme has included crops important for Slovenian agriculture (grass and clovers, potato, some vegetable crops, fruit varieties and grapevines) since the establishment of the Institute more than 100 years ago. Studying morphological and physiological properties of indigenous plants and populations started before the Second World War, and after the war, the indigenous plants were collected for the purposes of breeding. Due to incorrect preservation, the majority of collected genetic resources did not survive. Systematic collection of Slovenian indigenous genetic resources of crops started as part of the Yugoslavian project Banka biljnih gena in 1989 and continues to this day as part of the SRGB programme. The purpose of the SRGB programme is collecting, characterizing and preserving genetic resources of agricultural crops. The most valuable source for every gene bank are autochtonous, local varieties or populations that with their genetic diversity and adaptability to the given soil and climate conditions are a valuable source for breeding new varieties and are at the same time an important national treasure that should be preserved for future generations.