Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Home page About this site

About this site

The Crop Genebank Knowledge Base is an initiative of the System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It was developed as part of the World Bank funded project “Collective Action for the Rehabilitation of Global Public Goods in the CGIAR Genetic Resources System, Phase 2 (GPG 2)”.

Our goal

We want to contribute to more efficient and effective ex situ conservation and use of crop genetic resources through facilitating easy access to the knowledge and best practices for genebank management of selected crops and to many aspects of general genebank management.

We therefore provide dynamic, up-to-date information on:

  • Peer-reviewed best practices for germplasm conservation of a number of major crops, from registration through to distribution, including protocols, guidelines, manuals, as well as on general genebank procedures.
  • Other aspects of management strategies such as decision support, maintenance of genetic identity, performance indicators, quality and risk management, safe transfer of germplasm, specialized collections.
  • Training materials such as training modules, handbooks, videos, images and useful links.

Our primary objectives

  • Provide a user-friendly online access to procedures, standards and practices for managing clonally propagated and seed crops held in genebanks.
  • Compile and adapt best practices in the framework of a learning platform.
  • Provide links to other related information and training resources.
  • Implement a mechanism to update the existing best practices for crop management in genebanks and to develop best practices for additional crops.
  • Build capacity of genebank curators and technicians.

Our target audience and beneficiaries

The primary users and beneficiaries of this website are genebank curators and technicians responsible for managing germplasm collections. Breeders and farmers will benefit from more efficient mechanisms to distribute and access germplasm. Universities will also benefit from this important collection of resource materials to train new researchers in agricultural biodiversity conservation.


Website development and maintenance

The Crop Genebank Knowledge Base website was developed within the framework of the World Bank funded project “Collective Action for the Rehabilitation of Global Public Goods in the CGIAR Genetic Resources System, Phase 2 (GPG2)”, which was implemented from January 2007 to June 2010 (SGRP 2010).

The crop best practices and relevant information for banana, barley, cassava, chickpea, forage grasses and legumes, maize, rice and wheat were collated and written by genebank experts of the CGIAR centres and national genebanks worldwide for their respective crops. Procedures and learning resources were compiled by the CGIAR centres and management strategies were contributed by different groups carrying out parallel activities of the GPG2. The web site was officially launched in December 2010. 

More details about the CGKB development can be found in Jorge et al 2010 here.

The website is currently being translated into Spanish. New sources of information, sections and best practices are being developed, based mainly on voluntary contributions from interested users, on an ongoing basis. For a detailed list of all contributors, please click here.

You can contribute to this site, by sending us an email, by leaving a comment, or by discussing your best practices under development with colleagues using the wiki. Or check our blog for an update on the latest developments of the CGKB.


Promotional material

Below you can find some materials that were and are used for promoting the CGKB.

References and further reading

Jorge M A, Claessens G, Hanson J, Dulloo ME, Goldberg E, Thormann I, Alemayehu S, Gacheru E, Amri A, Benson E, Dumet D, Roux N, Rudebjer P, Sackville Hamilton R, Sanchez I, Sharma S, Taba S, Upadhyaya HD, van den Houwe I. 2010. Knowledge sharing on best practices for managing crop genebanks. Agricultural Information Worldwide 3:2 101-106. Available from: Date accessed: 14 October 2011.

SGRP. 2010. Global Public Goods Project Phase 2 - Final Report. Systemwide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP). Bioversity International. Rome, Italy. Available here (2.5 MB).

Thormann I, Qiu Yang, Allender C, Bas N, Campbell G, Dulloo E, Ebert AW, Lohwasser U, Pandey C, Robertson LD, Spellman O. 2013. Development of best practices for ex situ conservation of radish germplasm in the context of the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 60(4):1251-1262. DOI 10.1007/s10722-012-9916-5.

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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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