Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Safety duplication of radish genetic resources

Contributors to this page: CAAS, China (Qiu Yang, Li Xixiang); Bioversity International, Italy (Imke Thormann, Ehsan Dulloo); CGN, Netherlands (Noortje Bas); IPK, Germany (Andreas Börner, Ulrike Lohwasser); AVRDC, Taiwan (Andreas Ebert); USDA, USA (Larry Robertson); NBPGR, India (Chitra Pandey); SASA, UK (George Campbell); University of Warwick, UK (Charlotte Allender).

When should it be used

  • Always. See also the general page on safety duplication procedures.
  • Integrating the accessions into the other genebank collections is preferred over the black box safety duplicates.
  • In case of integration of safety duplicates, the recipient genebank will need to register the accessions.
  • Black box safety duplicates should ensure both seed viability and seed quality.

Sample specifications

Minimum sample size for storage

  • The minimum samples size for storage should include sufficient seed for 2 regeneration cycles. Examles for samples sizes in genebanks:
    • AVRDC: 2 x 200 seeds each duplicated at an active genebank and at SGSV, Norway.
    • CAAS: 60g
    • CGN: 600 seeds, considered sufficient for 2 regenerations.
    • IPK: 10-15 g (1000-2500 seeds) each of cultivated material and 8-12 g (1000-2000 seeds each of wild material to comprise a quantity for two regeneration cycles of 300-400 seeds per cycle).
    • SASA: 10% of active sample. This is considered a representative and consistent proportion of the overall sample and will not compromise the active sample in the way that a fixed size could.
    • USDA: 2000 seeds. Based on radish being cross-pollinated crop and the need to maintain maximum number of genes, this provides for 10 standard field regeneration attempts.
    • WARGRU: 10g 

Viability for storage 

  • Not less than 80-85% viability for cultivated radish .
  • A minimum of 60% viability for the wild relatives. 

Moisture content

  • At 3-7% (according to FAO/IPGRI standards).

Container specifications

Seed packaging method

  • Aluminum foil packets sealed hermetically under light vacuum conditions with a heat sealer. Vacuum should be used with caution as it can damage seeds. 
  • Packing is best carried out in an air-conditioned room with controlled humidity as quick as possible after drying.

Specifications of packaging material

  • Three layered standard aluminum foil packets consisting of the following layers:
    • Polyester 17g/m2 (12 μm) (outer)
    • Alufoil 33g/m2 (12 μm) (middle)
    • Polyethylene 63g/m2 (80 μm) (inner)  

Storage specifications 

Assigning location codes

  • Boxes are numbered and lists of seeds per box maintained in a database.
  • Use a barcode system.

Storage conditions

  • -18 ± 3°C. 

Shipping method 

  • Should be safe and fast enough to avoid delays and deterioration of seed quality during transfer.

Legal arrangements

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

  • GMO declaration (if issued).
  • Standard agreement for safety duplication.
  • Special agreement for Svalbard.
  • Phytosanitary certificate.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Certificate of no-commercial value.
  • Electronic and/or hard copy of associated passport information.

Recording information during safety duplication

The following information should be recorded for each step:

  • Accession number (unique number).
  • Flag of safety duplicated (Y/N).
  • Number of seeds.
  • Weight of seeds.
  • Year of production of seeds.
  • Year of safety duplication.
  • Name of institute holding the safety duplicates.
  • Box label where the sample is placed.
  • Common steps (regardless of conservation strategy).

References and further reading

Engels JMM, Visser L, editors. 2003. A guide to effective management of germplasm collections. IPGRI Handbooks for Genebanks No. 6. IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available here

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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