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International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Genetic Resources Centre

IITA’s genebank is responsible for a range of crops important for food security in Africa. These include seed crops such as Bambara groundnut, cowpea, maize, soybean, African yam bean and other legume species and clonal crops such as banana, cassava and yam, which require very different methods of conservation.

IITA’s medium-term storage. Seeds conserved in medium-term storage are kept at 4 degrees celsius.
IITA’s medium-term storage. Seeds conserved in medium-term storage are kept at 4°C. Credit: Crop Trust

Crops that produce orthodox seeds are maintained in medium-term storage (5°C and 30–35% relative humidity) or long-term storage (–20°C). Clonal crops are maintained in field genebanks and in vitro.

The IITA genebank collaborates with CGIAR breeders of maize, banana, grain legumes and roots and tubers.

The germplasm health unit is well established. Work is taking place to establish a high-throughput procedure for cleaning yam accessions of pests and diseases.

Useful information

Genebank Manager: Michael Abberton
Head of GHU: Lava Kumar
Key staff: Badara Gueye, In vitro specialist; Tchamba Marimagne, Database manager.

Banana

Cassava

Cowpea

Maize

Yam

External links

IITA Genetic Resources Center Website
Search IITA’s crop databases

Key performance indicators of CGIAR genebanks, 2012-2019

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data. For descriptions of performance indicators, click here.
Crop Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Banana Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 335 247 321 321 321 393 393 393
Banana Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 94 162 203 203 191 208 228 359
Banana Number of seed accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Banana Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 335 247 321 321 321 393 393 393
Banana Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Banana Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Banana Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 118 118 113 113 118 118 118 118
Banana Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? - - -
Cassava Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 3,449 2,740 3,251 3,398 3,398 3,184 3,184 3,184
Cassava Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 1,629 1,685 1,238 1,632 1,873 1,910 2,035 2,320
Cassava Number of seed accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cassava Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 3,449 2,740 3,251 3,398 3,398 3,184 3,184 3,184
Cassava Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cassava Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cassava Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 2,257 0 1,556 2,227 1,749 2,151 1,757 1,570
Cassava Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? 25 - 25
Cocoyam Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 27 25 15 13 13 13 0 0
Cocoyam Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of seed accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 27 25 15 13 13 13 0
Cocoyam Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? - - -
Cowpea Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 15,371 15,371 15,113 15,115 15,115 17,051 17,051 17,051
Cowpea Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 1,500 2,156 5,637 7,963 10,722 15,755 16,005 16,205
Cowpea Number of seed accessions in the collections 15,371 15,371 15,113 15,115 15,115 17,051 17,051 17,051
Cowpea Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cowpea Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cowpea Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 8,810 8,810 8,810 8,810 8,810 8,810 8,810 11,512
Cowpea Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cowpea Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? 1,936 1,936 1,936
Maize Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 1,581 1,581 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561
Maize Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 600 600 900 900 952 948 1,148 1,378
Maize Number of seed accessions in the collections 1,581 1,581 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561 1,561
Maize Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Maize Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Maize Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 406 406 406 406 406 406 768 768
Maize Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Maize Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? - - -
Misc. legumes Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,747
Misc. legumes Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 1,595 1,595 319 1,821 2,873 5,930 6,620 6,620
Misc. legumes Number of seed accessions in the collections 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,623 6,747
Misc. legumes Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Misc. legumes Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Misc. legumes Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 2,445 2,481 2,481 2,545 2,545 2,545 2,545 3,112
Misc. legumes Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Misc. legumes Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? - - -
Yam Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 3,156 3,801 3,789 5,839 5,839 5,839 5,839 5,839
Yam Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 0 88 180 653 864 1,220 1,433 1,504
Yam Number of seed accessions in the collections 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yam Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 3,156 3,801 3,789 5,839 5,839 5,839 5,839 5,839
Yam Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yam Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yam Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 4,035 1,167 2,704 3,583 2,888 3,501 2,757 3,761
Yam Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? 441 441 441
All crops Base number of accessions in the collections (see description note) 30,542 30,388 30,673 32,870 32,870 34,664 34,651 34,775
All crops Number of accessions that are viability tested, disease-free and with sufficient seed number for immediate distribution. 5,418 6,286 8,477 13,172 17,475 25,971 27,469 28,386
All crops Number of seed accessions in the collections 23,575 23,575 23,297 23,299 23,299 25,235 25,235 25,359
All crops Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in the collections 6,967 6,813 7,376 9,571 9,571 9,429 9,416 9,416
All crops Number of live plant accessions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All crops Numbers of accessions in seed collections held in long-term storage and safety duplicated in a major genebank and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 11,661 11,697 11,697 11,761 11,761 11,761 12,123 15,392
All crops Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions (e.g., roots, tubers, bananas) in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro samples. 6,410 1,285 4,373 5,923 4,755 5,770 4,632 5,449
All crops Of the accessions that are legally and physically available, how many are wild species? 0 0 0 0 0 2,402 2,377 2,402

Genebank operations, 2012-2019

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data
Crop Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Banana Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 275
Banana Number accessions received 0 0 123 0 37 0 0 0
Banana Number accessions regenerated 0 0 1 0 7 0 393 0
Banana Number accessions multiplied 582 462 632 317 321 786 774 393
Banana Number accessions health tested 79 45 147 0 244 44 28 165
Banana Number accessions cleaned 0 37 86 0 53 17 20 131
Banana Number accessions viability tested 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cassava Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 3,184
Cassava Number accessions received 0 0 0 0 39 2,151 0 0
Cassava Number accessions regenerated 0 0 0 0 242 3,184 3,184 3,184
Cassava Number accessions multiplied 2,787 2,164 4,128 2,428 2,469 2,470 5,027 2,769
Cassava Number accessions health tested 541 59 213 435 441 58 170 238
Cassava Number accessions cleaned 454 56 203 394 367 37 125 285
Cassava Number accessions viability tested 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 0
Cocoyam Number accessions received - - - - - - -
Cocoyam Number accessions regenerated - - - - - - - -
Cocoyam Number accessions multiplied - 25 15 13 13 13 - -
Cocoyam Number accessions health tested - - - - - - - -
Cocoyam Number accessions cleaned - - - - - - - -
Cocoyam Number accessions viability tested - - - - - - -
Cowpea Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 17,825
Cowpea Number accessions received 966 326 0 0 1,293 0 250 0
Cowpea Number accessions regenerated 0 924 0 2,365 0 222 250 200
Cowpea Number accessions multiplied 300 0 2,200 0 831 205 1,698 250
Cowpea Number accessions health tested 0 659 2,591 3,461 3,006 3,298 1,457 2,027
Cowpea Number accessions cleaned 0 656 2,360 2,849 2,759 2,168 1,450 1,250
Cowpea Number accessions viability tested 4,787 11,372 6,879 6,879 1,000 1,000 1,939 100
Maize Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 1,561
Maize Number accessions received 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Maize Number accessions regenerated 0 0 0 0 0 100 0 91
Maize Number accessions multiplied 0 0 100 45 98 200 200 230
Maize Number accessions health tested 0 0 0 45 100 200 300 230
Maize Number accessions cleaned 0 0 0 45 98 161 300 219
Maize Number accessions viability tested 0 689 27 27 98 136 100 100
Misc. legumes Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 0
Misc. legumes Number accessions received 0 0 0 47 374 0 18 124
Misc. legumes Number accessions regenerated 0 0 0 0 1,946 174 173 0
Misc. legumes Number accessions multiplied 0 1,010 1,532 1,418 0 888 100 200
Misc. legumes Number accessions health tested 0 65 0 1,426 1,946 1,314 702 83
Misc. legumes Number accessions cleaned 0 60 0 1,169 1,385 1,110 700 80
Misc. legumes Number accessions viability tested 0 18 2,428 1,447 568 1,000 100 300
Yam Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 5,839
Yam Number accessions received 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yam Number accessions regenerated 0 0 0 0 0 5,839 5,539 5,839
Yam Number accessions multiplied 1,806 1,231 3,276 1,923 5,836 2,354 4,441 2,937
Yam Number accessions health tested 0 98 110 582 594 403 283 225
Yam Number accessions cleaned 0 88 103 473 483 356 213 71
Yam Number accessions viability tested 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All crops Number of accessions with passport & characterization data available . . . . . . . 28,684
All crops Number accessions received 1,165 326 123 47 1,743 2,151 268 124
All crops Number accessions regenerated 0 924 1 2,365 2,195 9,519 9,539 9,314
All crops Number accessions multiplied 5,475 4,892 11,883 6,144 9,568 6,916 12,240 6,779
All crops Number accessions health tested 620 926 3,061 5,949 6,331 5,317 2,940 2,968
All crops Number accessions cleaned 454 897 2,752 4,930 5,145 3,849 2,808 2,036
All crops Number accessions viability tested 4,787 12,079 9,334 8,353 1,666 2,136 2,139 500

Number of samples distributed to users within and outside the CGIAR, 2012-2019

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data. For descriptions of performance indicators, click here.
Crop Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
All crops Total number external germplasm requests 91 30 59 256 161 112 103 100
Banana Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 6 100 0 116 27 10 10 21
Banana Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 8 0 13 1 25 69 66 144
Banana Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 14 100 13 117 52 79 76 165
Banana Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 6 4 0 24 27 10 10 20
Banana Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 4 0 13 1 25 78 66 142
Banana Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 10 4 13 25 52 88 76 162
Cassava Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 8 0 0 0 5 9 118 47
Cassava Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 2 0 124 3 3 242 15 60
Cassava Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 10 0 124 3 8 251 133 107
Cassava Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 8 0 0 0 5 9 20 44
Cassava Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 2 0 124 3 3 209 3 59
Cassava Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 10 0 124 3 8 218 23 103
Cocoyam Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cocoyam Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cowpea Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 283 1,544 751 713 950 3 95 310
Cowpea Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 368 165 344 1,334 802 1,737 3,782 806
Cowpea Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 651 1,709 1,095 2,047 1,752 1,740 3,877 1,116
Cowpea Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 273 1,084 515 329 925 3 91 307
Cowpea Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 358 149 291 764 693 1,521 3,488 688
Cowpea Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 631 1,233 806 1,093 1,618 1,524 3,579 995
Maize Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 0 0 56 0 0 0
Maize Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 17 51 29 60 56 201 225 285
Maize Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 17 51 29 60 112 201 225 285
Maize Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 0 0 56 0 0 0
Maize Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 17 38 29 59 56 199 195 193
Maize Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 17 38 29 59 112 199 195 193
Misc. legumes Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 136 5 500 664 102 0 6 39
Misc. legumes Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 596 536 906 1,902 670 1,052 1,385 1,934
Misc. legumes Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 732 541 1,406 2,566 772 1,052 1,385 1,973
Misc. legumes Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 133 5 466 576 97 0 6 37
Misc. legumes Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 564 358 685 1,173 630 705 888 1,572
Misc. legumes Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 697 363 1,151 1,749 727 705 894 1,609
Yam Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 9 420 13 53 20 34
Yam Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 2 0 27 38 28 71 9 93
Yam Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 2 0 36 458 41 124 29 127
Yam Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 0 0 9 28 12 52 20 24
Yam Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 2 0 27 37 25 71 9 93
Yam Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 2 0 36 65 37 123 29 117
All crops Total number external germplasm requests 91 30 59 256 161 112 103 100
All crops Number of samples distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 433 1,649 1,260 1,913 1,153 75 249 451
All crops Number of samples distributed to users outside the CGIAR 993 752 1,443 3,338 1,584 3,372 5,482 3,322
All crops Sum of samples distributed within and outside the CGIAR 1,426 2,401 2,703 5,251 2,737 3,447 5,731 3,773
All crops Number of accessions distributed internally within the Center and to another CGIAR Center 420 1,093 990 957 1,122 74 147 432
All crops Number of accessions distributed to users outside the CGIAR 947 545 1,169 2,037 1,432 2,783 4,649 2,747
All crops Sum of accessions distributed within and outside the CGIAR 1,367 1,638 2,159 2,994 2,554 2,857 4,796 3,179

Publications by IITA genebank staff in 2019

Recent publications with at least one CGIAR genebank staff as author. HINT: Use the search key to filter the data.
Authors Article title Publication name URL
Vincent Lebot Benjamin Faloye Eric Okon Badara Gueye Simultaneous quantification of allantoin and steroidal saponins in yam (Dioscorea spp.) Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants READ
Jekayinoluwa, T. , Gueye, B. , Bhattacharjee, R. , Osibanjo, O.* , Shah, T. , Abberton, M. Agromorphologic, genetic and methylation profiling of Dioscorea and Musa species multiplied under three micropropagation systems PLoS One READ
Mayes, S. , Ho, W. K.* , Chai, H. H.* , Gao, X.* , Kundy, A. C.* , Mateva, K. I.* , Zahrulakmal, M.* , Hahiree, M. K.* , Kendabie, P. , Licea, L. C. , Massawe, C.* , Mabhaudhi, T.* , Modi, A. T.* , Berchie, J. N.* , Amoah, S.* , Faloye, B. , Abberton, M. , Oyatomi, O. , Azam-Ali, S. N. Bambara groundnut: an exemplar underutilised legume for resilience under climate change Planta READ
Adegboyega, T. T. , Abberton, M. , Abdelgadir, A. H. , Dianda, M. , Maziya-Dixon, B. , Oyatomi, O. , Ofodile, S. , Babalola, O. O.( Nutrient and antinutrient composition of winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.) seeds and tubers Journal of Food Quality READ

Publications by IITA genebank staff in 2018

Recent publications with at least one CGIAR genebank staff as author. HINT: Use the search key to filter the data.
Authors Article title Publication name URL
onibare, M. A., I. O. Ayoola, B. Gueye, M. T. Abberton, R. D’Souza and N. Kuhnert Leaves metabolomic profiling of Musa acuminataaccessions using UPLC–QTOF–MS/MS and their antioxidant activity. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization READ
Lebot, V., Malapa, R., Abraham, K., Molisale, T., Van Kien, N., Gueye, B., Waki, J. Secondary metabolites content may clarify the traditional selection process. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution READ
Whitehouse, K.J., Owoborode, O.F., Adebayo,O.O., Oyatomi,O., Olaniyan,A., Abberton,M., Hay, F.R. Further evidence that the genebank standards for drying orthodox seeds. Biopreservation and Biobanking READ
Fatokun, C., Girma, G., Abberton, M., Gedil,M., Unachukwu, N., Oyatomi, O., Yusuf, M. Rabbi, I.Y., Boukar, O. Genetic diversity and population structure of a mini-core subset. Scientific Reports READ
Choudhary, N., Bawa, V., Paliwal, R., Singh, B., Bhat, M., Mir, J.I., Gupta, M., Sofi, P.A., Thudi, M., Varshney, R.K., Mir., R.R. Gene/QTL discovery for Anthracnose in common bean. PLoS-ONE READ
Kumari, S., Jaiswal, V.,Kumar Mishra, V., Paliwal, R., Singh Balyan, H., Kumar Gupta., P. QTL mapping for some grain traits in bread wheat. Physiol Mol Biol Plants READ
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