ICRISAT Breeding Programmes Adopt DOIs

Vania Azevedo, Head of Genebank, ICRISAT

At its 8th Session in 2019, the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture encouraged CGIAR Centers to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) not just to genebank accessions, but also to germplasm developed by Centres.

In order to consider how to fulfill this recommendation, ICRISAT established a working group to develop comprehensive guidelines for all germplasm distribution done by the Center. This working group involved the Director General’s office, the Deputy Director General, the IP (Intellectual Property) Department, the head of the genebank and the leader of the Statistics, Bioinformatics and Data Management team.

ICRISAT’s guidelines have now been developed. They cover various types of materials shared by ICRISAT, with recipients within the Center, and both within and outside India. They are in accordance with both the Plant Treaty and Indian guidelines on the distribution of Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 crops by Article 15 institutes.

For the first time, following the request from the Governing Body, the use of DOIs has been extended to breeding lines distributed by a CGIAR Centre. Almost all genebank accessions already have DOIs minted by the Treaty’s Global Information System. The new ICRISAT guidelines make it compulsory that the list of materials attached to every SMTA and other MTAs carry DOIs for all types of materials, including early generation and fixed breeding lines.

Although the ICRISAT DG has not yet formally approved the guidelines, all germplasm distributed by ICRISAT, whether by the genebank or breeding programmes, will now have a DOI assigned to it.