Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Registration of forage grass genetic resources

Contributors to this page: ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Jean Hanson); Bioversity International/ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Alexandra Jorge).

Verifying accompanying documentation

A minimal documentation is essential to track germplasm material. Health and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) certificates are very important for movement between countries. The following documents should accompany each consignment of plant germplasm:

    • List of accessions.
    • Phytosanitary certificate.
    • Plant import permit.
    • GMO-free certificate (if there are GMOs in the crop). A list of crops containing GMOs can be seen here. 
    • SMTA or germplasm acquisition agreement (SMTA: ITPGRFA).
    • Passport data.

It is also very important check against material in the collection to avoid conserving duplicates and to have complete information on genebank accessions. This data enhances the value of the germplasm.

Verifying the consignment

It is important to inspect the material on arrival to verify its condition and to avoid the introduction of new pests and diseases. Only seeds that appear in good condition and have a high probability of being viable should be registered.

Checking the germplasm

  • Check all packets against the list provided with the samples.
  • If no list is provided or seeds do not correspond with the list, prepare a list and send to donor/provider for confirmation and to obtain the proper data.
  • Check seeds for insect infestation or obvious signs of disease or damage during shipping.
  • Isolate the infested/infected samples: destroy when quarantine diseases and/or insects are observed; otherwise clean the seeds before storage using freezing or fumigation to control insects.
  • If possible, ask the donor to replace the sample.

Checking if the accession is already in the genebank

  • Check the genebank database for duplication, i.e. if the sample is already conserved in the genebank.
    • If it is, assign a new seed lot under the original accession number (of suspected duplicate). The ‘duplication’ will be verified later (at first planting and/or characterization).
    • If sample appears ‘original’, assign a unique accession number.
  • Write the accession number clearly on the packet using a permanent marker.
  • For each accession enter all passport data (plus any other information if provided) in the genebank database.


Registering new accessions (photo: ILRI)

Recording information during registration

The following information must be recorded for each accession:

  • Accession number (an ID number).
  • Lot number (an ID number).
  • Source (country and institute where the seeds came from).
  • Date of registration (date of entry to genebank).
  • Passport data provided for accession.

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International Agricultural Research Centres who worked together to make this site possible:
Africa Rice Center | Bioversity International | CIAT | CIMMYT | CIP | ICARDA | ICRISAT | IFPRI | IITA | ILRI | IRRI |

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