Contributors to this page: CIMMYT – Wheat, Mexico (Thomas Payne) and ICARDA, Syria (Ahmed Amri) with inputs also received from CIMMYT – Maize, Mexico (Suketoshi Taba); USDA – National Small Grains Collection, Aberdeen, Idaho, USA (Harold Bockelmann); CGN, Wageningen, The Netherlands (website) and IPK, Gatersleben, Germany (Helmut Knűpffer).
Verifying accompanying documentation
A minimal documentation is essential to track germplasm material. Health and IPR certificates are very important. The following documents should accompany each consignment of plant germplasm:
- Germplasm Acquisition Agreement (GAA) from donor.
- Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) from donor.
- Additional clauses to the SMTA, if relevant.
- Phytosanitary certificate from donor.
- Plant import permit.
- GMO-free certificate.
- Packing list of the introduced material and seed source.
- Available passport data.
- Available characterization data.
Verification of consignment
- Check all packets against the list provided with the samples.
- If no list is provided or seeds do not correspond with the list, prepare a list and send to donor/provider for confirmation, obtaining the proper data.
- Check seeds for insect infestation.
- Conduct a phytosanitary inspection of the incoming accessions.
- Isolate the infested/infected samples: destroy when quarantine diseases and/or insects.
- Otherwise clean the seeds before storage using fumigation to control insects.
Recording information during registration
- Check the genebank database for possible duplication of the received accession(s), i.e. if the sample is already conserved in the genebank.
- If the accession is a presumed duplicate, assign a new seed lot under the original accession number. The possible ‘duplication’ will be verified later (at first growth out and/or characterization).
- If the accession appears to be unique, assign a new unique accession number.
- Write the accession number clearly on the packet using a permanent marker.
- For each accession enter all available passport data (plus any other information if provided) in genebank database.
Germplasm acquisition strategies
Each collection should establish a germplasm acquisition strategy and policy. Below are some examples from large genebanks.
From the USDA National Small Grains Collection
- New small grains germplasm incorporated into the National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) are obtained from several sources:
- Collection expeditions to important centres of diversity of the crops.
- Exchanges with other genebanks, institutes and individual scientists.
- New cultivars or selected improved breeding material developed by breeding programmes in the US, Canada and other countries, including Crop Science registrations.
- Acquisition priorities include the wild relatives of Triticum, Hordeum, Avena and Oryza to fill species and ecogeographic gaps in the crop collections.
- Geographic regions of special interest are the Caucasus and Central Asia. These gaps are primarily addressed by collection expeditions and exchanges with other genebanks (e.g. CIMMYT, ICARDA, VIR, and PGR-Canada).
- Mapping populations and other genetic resources developed in the Barley and Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) will be stored and distributed as part of NSGC genetic stock collections. The intention is that the mapping populations will be distributed as long as seed is available from the developer, but will not be regenerated by NSGC.
From the CGN, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Points of departure and criteria for determining which plant genetic resources (PGR) material qualifies for acquisition:
- Material contributing to the broadening of CGN priority collections (plan of action of the five-year execution agreement).
- Original Dutch material (agreements with CBD).
- Material of great importance for Dutch research in a broad sense (to be decided by the project manager Collection Management).
- No duplication of material already present in CGN collections (to be checked via GENIS) or in other properly functioning genebanks unless it is reference material or if there are phytosanitary constraints (to be checked via EURISCO, GRIN or ECPGR European Central Crop Databases).
- No material that under Dutch conditions cannot be multiplied or only with great difficulty.
- Acquisition through third parties – for the past few years, acquisition through third parties has been conducted in the following ways:
- Introduction of varieties through requests received from plant breeders. Such acquisitions concern varieties that are or have been on Dutch lists of varieties and EU trade lists and have played an important role in Dutch agriculture or horticulture. Crop experts such as breeders, representatives of the registration agency and NAK (Netherlands General Inspection Service for Agricultural Seeds and Seed Potatoes) may be consulted to establish which varieties should be included. In many cases, advice is acquired from members of the CGN crop committees who have the expertise needed: i.e. the crop curators.
- Acquisition of collection databases from Dutch breeders.
- Acquisition of existing collections from various research institutions.
- Requests to associated genebanks.
- Requests to botanic gardens on the basis of the published Index Semina.
From CIMMYT, Mexico
Guiding principles for new wheat introductions:
- Through the introduction of new wheat accessions, the genebank works to produce representative samples of diverse alleles in the three wheat genomes that are available for long-term storage and distribution, as feasible.
- Undertake collection expeditions where previously no collections have taken place or where additional genetic diversity of interest is expected to reside based on GIS or other information regarding prevailing climate and soil conditions.
- Acquire critical germplasm such as cultivars from around the world released by breeders in the 20th century that are now obsolete.
- Maintain collections of selected germplasm representative of all significant germplasm pools.
- The type of wheat genotypes included in the wheat collection include:
- Wheat’s diploid and tetraploid undomesticated ancestor species.
- Primitive domesticated wheats.
- Commercial wheat cultivars from around the world.
- Advanced lines bred by CIMMYT breeders over the course of its history.
- Genetic stocks (e.g. cytogenetic stocks, deletions, point mutations, –mono- and polysomic series, translocations, mapping populations).
- Miscellaneous stocks of rye and other related grasses.
- DNA of selected entries.