Arctic doomsday vault gets record batch of crop seeds

STORY: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, set in permafrost caves on an island halfway between mainland Europe and the North Pole, was launched in 2008 as the ultimate backup for the world's gene banks to protect plants from war, disease and climate change.

On Tuesday, depositors carried crates of seeds into the vault's entrance, a long narrow structure which juts out of the snow-covered hillside.

Twenty-three seed banks took part, nine of them for the first time, the largest number of newcomers introduced at one single occasion, according to Crop Trust, a non-profit that operates the facility along with Norwegian authorities.