Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Crops Barley Safety duplication

Safety duplication of cultivated barley and wild relatives genetic resources

Contributors to this page: ICARDA, Syria (Ahmed Amri, Bilal Humeid, Kenneth Street, Natalya Rukhkyan, Jan Konopka, Siham Asaad, Adnan Omran and Fida Alô).

When should it be used

For all original seeds collected by the genebank or only held by the genebank (seeds which are duplicates from other collections can usually be retrieved from those collections and do not require safety duplication unless there is doubt about their security in the other collection). See also the general page on safety duplication procedures.

Sample specifications

The sample size should be sufficient for conducting at least three regenerations.

Photo flipbook by ICARDA

Minimum sample size for storage

  • Cultivated barley: one packet of 25 g.
  • Wild species: one packet of 25 g.

Viability for storage

  • Cultivated barley: >80%.
  • Wild species: >90%.

Moisture content

  • 5-7% (to avoid any deterioration to the stored seed samples).

Container specifications

Seed packaging method

  • It is best to package seed in an air-conditioned room with controlled humidity (to prevent re-absorption of water).
  • Aluminum foil packets should be sealed under vacuum (as they can be resealed and occupy less space than other containers).

Specifications of packaging material

  • Aluminum foil packets consisting of following layers:
    • Polyester 17 g/m2.
    • Alufoil 33 g/m2.
    • Polyethylene 63 g/m2.

Storage specifications

Assigning location codes in boxes

  • All safety duplicated samples should be put in well labeled boxes meeting the specification of the recipient (tracing the material easily facilitates handling).
  • Associated database should have clear information on which box every sample is located in.

Storage conditions

  • -18 to -22oC (under long-term conservation, to expand storage life).

Shipping method

  • Boxes should be shipped the quickest way possible (should be safe, less costly and fast enough to avoid delays and deterioration of seed quality during transfer).

Legal arrangements

The documentation listed below should be included to facilitate customs clearance:

  • Standard agreement.
  • Special agreement for Svalbard.
  • Phytosanitary certificate.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Certificate of no-commercial value.
  • Electronic and hard copy of associated passport information.
  • GMO-free certificate (if required) .

Recording information during safety duplication

The following information should be recorded for each step:

  • Flag of safety duplication status (Y/N).
  • Number of seeds.
  • Weight of seeds.
  • Year of production of seeds.
  • Year of safety duplication.
  • Name of institute holding the safety duplicate(s).
  • Box label in which the sample is placed.
  • Common steps (regardless of conservation strategy).

References and further reading

FAO/IPGRI. 1994. Genebank standards. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome. Available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

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