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International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Genetic Resources Section

ICARDA manages diverse collections of barley and wheat, grain legumes and forages, mostly traditional landraces and wild species from the Fertile Crescent.

GRS website

Once working out of Syria, the genebank has relocated to Morocco and Lebanon in the past years. Morocco stores cultivated species of wheat, barley, chickpea and lentil while Lebanon stores faba bean and grasspea and wild relatives of cereals and legumes. The genebank also holds more than 1,380 accessions of Rhizobium strains, vital for enabling legumes to make use of atmospheric nitrogen and increase soil fertility.

The ICARDA genebank helped develop a new methodology, known as Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS), to give breeders and other researchers a better chance to find useful traits within a large number of accessions. The Genetic Resources Section also conducts pre-breeding activities, for example the introgression of genes from wild species to help broaden the genetic base of wheat.

ICARDA has built a unique capacity to regenerate crop wild relatives with more than 200 isolation cages in Lebanon.

The genebank has also re-established the capacity to carry out routine germplasm health testing.

Barley
Wheat
Chickpea
Lentil
Faba bean
Forage grasses
Forage legumes
Grasspea

Key performance indicators of CGIAR genebanks, 2012-2017

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data. For descriptions of performance indicators, click here.
Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1. Total number of accessions 140,933 146,352 147,872 152,220 155,205 156,721
2. Total number of accessions that are currently available 87,758 86,038 86,038 92,190 92,190 92,957
3. Number of seed accessions 140,933 146,352 147,872 152,220 155,205 156,721
4. Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0
5. Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0
6. Number of seed accessions held in long-term storage and safety duplicated at two levels 110,671 114,808 116,446 76,922 77,386 45,944
7. Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro 0 0 0 0 0 0

Genebank operations, 2012-2017

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data
Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Number accessions received 3,891 2,508 2,052 4,955 1,285 1,167
Number accessions regenerated 2,639 0 893 0 0 126
Number accessions multiplied 7,772 2,678 7,573 9,916 32,320 24,678
Number accessions health tested 4,172 5,404 3,308 8,026 2,068 23,276
Number accessions cleaned 0 0 3 0 44 0
Number accessions viability tested 0 0 0 925 5,842 5,368

ICARDA staff at the crop genetic resources collection in the new Terbol facility in Lebanon. This collection contains the world’s largest collection of wild cereals including barley, wheat, lentil and grasspea. Credit: Shawn Landersz
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