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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
IITA technician working in the in-vitro lab to propagate cassava accessions.
IITA technician working in the in vitro lab to propagate cassava accessions. 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
Search Genesys for accessions at IITA

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 30,515 30,363 30,658 32,857 32,857 34,651
2. Total number of accessions that are currently available 5,418 6,286 8,477 13,172 17,475 25,971
3. Number of seed accessions 23,575 23,575 23,297 23,299 23,299 25,235
4. Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions 6,940 6,788 7,361 9,558 9,558 9,416
5. Number of seed accessions held in long-term storage and safety duplicated at two levels 11,661 11,697 11,697 11,761 11,761 11,761
6. Number of vegetatively-propagated accessions in cryopreservation or safety duplicated as in vitro 0 0 0 3,583 2,888 3,501
PDCI score - - - 4.66 4.69 4.69

Genebank operations, 2012-2017

HINT: Use the search key to filter the data
Indicator 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Number accessions received 1,165 326 123 47 1,743 2,151
Number accessions regenerated 0 924 1 2,365 2,195 9,519
Number accessions multiplied 5,475 4,867 11,868 6,131 9,555 6,903
Number accessions health tested 620 926 3,061 5,949 6,331 5,317
Number accessions cleaned 454 897 2,752 4,930 5,145 3,849
Number accessions viability tested 4,787 12,079 9,334 8,353 1,666 2,136

Number of samples distributed to users within and outside the CGIAR, 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
Number of samples distributed within the CGIAR 433 1,649 1,260 1,913 1,153 75
Number of samples distributed outside the CGIAR 993 752 1,443 3,338 1,584 3,372
Total number of samples distributed 1,426 2,401 2,703 5,251 2,737 3,447
Number of accessions distributed within the CGIAR 420 1,093 990 957 1,122 74
Number of accessions distributed outside the CGIAR 947 545 1,169 2,037 1,432 2,783
Total number of accessions distributed 1,367 1,638 2,159 2,994 2,554 2,857
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