Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Learning resources Glossary/Acronyms

Terms used on the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base.

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Term Definition
Absolute humidity

The amount of water vapour present in a unit volume of air usually expressed in kilograms per cubic meter.


A distinct uniquely identifiable sample of seeds representing a cultivar breeding line or a population which is maintained in storage for conservation and use.

Accession number

A unique identifier that is assigned by the curator when an accession is entered into a collection. This number should never be assigned to another accession.


A one-seeded dry indehiscent fruit with the seed attached to the pericarp at only one point.

Active collection

A germplasm accession that is used for regeneration, multiplication, distribution, characterization and evaluation. Active collections are maintained in short- to mediumterm storage and usually duplicated in a base collection maintained in medium- to long-term storage.


Amplified fragment length polymorphism. A highly sensitive method for detecting polymorphisms in DNA. DNA first undergoes restriction enzyme digestion; and a subset of DNA fragments is then selected for PCR amplification and visualization.

Aliases (separate with |): aliases

A chain of sugar molecules that form the basis of agarose gels used for electrophoresis.


One of the alternative forms of a gene that can exist at a single locus.

Allele mining

A research field directed to the identification of useful alleles within genetic resources collections.


Transfer of pollen (i.e. pollination) from the anther of the flower of one plant to the stigma of the flower of a genetically different plant. Also called crossbreeding, outcrossing, and xenogamy. (See also "Outbreeding")

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Sources for this glossary: IPGRI Tech. Bulletin 10: Molecular markers for genebank management and Seed handling in genebanks training course
Glossary open source software by M. Brampton

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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