A Mediterranean Pistacia germplasm collection is being established at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for desert Research, Sede Boker Campus. The collection consists of a live seedling collection and a seed collection. Seeds of Pistacia species growing around the Mediterranean basin were collected during the growing seasons of 1994/95 and 1995/96. Seeds of each accession were germinated at the JNF nursery at Gilat in the Negev and the seedlings transferred to a 16,000 m2 plot in the Negev highland. The collection is planned to host all the species, subspecies and hybrids of the genus Pistacia. So far, we have collected 270 accessions of 6 species from Tunisia, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. From each accession, 5 to 10 seedlings will be planted in the live collection. Seeds of each accession are also stored in a seed gene bank for future use. The broad objective of this germplasm collection is to evaluate the accessions in the collection at macroscopic, molecular and biotechnological levels. Preparation of a descriptor identification list of each accession in our collection at the botanical, phenological and molecular levels is underway.