Contributors to this page: ICRISAT, Patancheru, India (Hari D Upadhyaya, Shivali Sharma, Cholenahalli L Laxmipathi Gowda, Dintyala Sastry, Sube Singh); NBPGR, New Delhi, India (Shyam Sharma); ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria (Ahmed Amri, Kenneth Street, Natalya Rukhkyan), SARC-RIPP, Piestany, Slovak Republic (Gabriela Antalikova); Institute of Plant Genetic Resources ‘K.Malkov’, Sadovo, Bulgaria (Siyka Stoyanova); Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia (Bob Redden); IPK, Gatersleben, Germany (Andreas Börner).
Rationale for registration
Registration is done to allow the genebank curator to keep a record of samples held in the genebank and to produce inventory lists for conservation, distribution and other aspects of germplasm management.
- Each sample should have assigned a unique accession number which distinguishes it from all other accessions in the genebank.
- Samples should be registered when first entering the genebank.
Verifying accompanying documentation
Basic documentation is essential to track germplasm material. Health and IPR certificates are very important for entry to the country. The following documents should accompany each consignment of plant germplasm and should be recorded (using a Genebank Information Management System, GIMS):
- Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) and /or Germplasm Acquisition Agreement (GAA), whose status with regard to conservation and use is clearly defined.
- Phytosanitary certificate from donor.
- Plant import permit.
- GMO-free certificate.
- List of material.
- Seed source.
- Associated passport data, preferably in the Multi-crop Passport Descriptors (MCPD) format, preferably electronically.
Verifying the consignment
Checking the content
- Arrange the material received by the genebank according to alphabetical order of names of variety, or numeric order of number, depending on the identification provided on the packets/bags.
- Check all the packets as per the list provided with the samples.
- Prepare a new list if details are not provided with the samples.
- Request any missing passport information.
Checking the genebank
- Check the passport database file or collector’s number and other information to ensure that the sample does not already exist in the genebank.
- If the material is already represented in the genebank, grow the putative duplicate alongside the existing accession to compare the morpho-agronomic characters.
- If you are convinced that they are duplicates, they can be stored together and maintained with the existing number.
Checking the germplasm
- Verify the health certificates (in the regional Quarantine service, according to Quarantine prescriptions).
- File the official quarantine release papers.
- Open each packet of seeds and inspect their condition by checking for any insect damage, fungal growth, damaged, broken, empty or shriveled seeds which probably would not germinate.
- Visually inspect the seeds to be correctly designated – as desi or kabuli seed, seed colour, unmixed pure sample if a released variety, or possibly mixed if it is a landrace.
- Compare the received seed with the request / import order with identification provided on the imported seed packet/container for veracity, otherwise send to donor/provider for confirmation and to obtain the correct data.
- Check with the photographic record of the accession, if available.
- If seeds are in poor condition, discard the sample and make a note in the files of the action taken and reasons for it. Write to the donors requesting fresh samples.
- If the accompanying data is incomplete or seeds are insufficient or of poor quality, assign a temporary number.
- Assign an accession number only if the sample received is unique and sufficient seeds are available.
- If two samples have identical or very similar names, identical seed characteristics, maturity and other morphological and agronomical features, bulk them to make one sample and assign an accession number.
Recording information during registration
The following information must be recorded for each consignment:
- Passport information – the minimum passport data required for collected/donated samples like country of origin, location of collecting site, local name or cultivar name, pedigree information for breeding lines and improved varieties and source of collection (use descriptors for passport data).
- Seed health – seeds should be absolutely free from pathogens and insects (see seed health page for more details).
- Seed quality and quantity – quantity sufficient for at least for four regenerations. Seed viability should not be <85% for cultivated species and <75% for wild species (record the seed status regarding quality and quantity).
- If the seed meets the above standards and does not exist in the genebank, assign accession number following a standard procedure.
- Steps for registration are described in detail in the Genebank Manual of ICRISAT (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).
- Identification of duplicates: if it appears to be a duplicate, assign a new seed lot number under the original accession number (of suspected duplicate). The ‘duplication’ should be verified later (at first growth out and/or during characterization).
- Otherwise, if sample appears ‘original’, assign a new unique accession number (entering data in genebank database).
- Record all other information available on the sample (this will be a permanent record of the source material).
- Enter the genebank number (a unique accession number).
- Regularly do electronic database maintenance.
References and further reading
GIMS (Genebank Information Management System) – a standalone facility of ICRISAT Genebank. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, A.P. 502 324, India. In: Manual of Genebank Operations and Procedures – Technical Manual no. 6. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: ISBN 92-9066-421-5.
IBPGR, ICRISAT, ICARDA. 1993. Descriptors for Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, Rome, Italy; International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, India and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Aleppo, Syria. ISBN 92-9043-137-7. Available here.
FAO/IPGRI. 2001. Multi-Crop Passport Descriptors. FAO and IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available in English, French and Spanish.
Upadhyaya HD, Laxmipathi Gowda CL. 2009. Managing and Enhancing the Use of Germplasm – Strategies and Methodologies. Technical Manual no. 10. Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. 236 pp.