Genebank Management Strategies and Principles

The Crop Genebank Knowledge Base contributes to more efficient and effective ex situ conservation of crop genetic resources through facilitating easy access to knowledge and best practices for genebank management of selected crops.

The Knowledge Base is an initiative of the System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) working to build the capacity of genebank curators and technicians responsible for managing germplasm collections. Through these efforts, breeders and farmers benefit from more efficient mechanisms to access and distribute germplasm. Training institutions also benefit from this important collection of resource materials to train new researchers in agricultural biodiversity conservation.

Important strategies and principles related to genebank decision-making are elucidated on the Knowledge Base, covering:

  1. A very useful decision support tool with a downloadable user guide and facility to contribute to the improvement of the tool by providing feedback inline.
  2. Genetic identity, including genetic integrity, transgene analysis and characterization standards
  3. Performance indicators for in-trust collections, including for: management & planning; long-term storage and management of collections; safety duplication of he collections; characterization of collections; documentation of collections and provision of data in publicly available information systems; distribution of germplasm in accordance with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; collaboration in crop conservation; improving the coverage of the genepool ex situ (including analyzing and filling gaps in collections) in partnership with other genebanks; providing training and capacity building to others (external to the organization); and, developing links with users and promoting use.
  4. Policies and legal arrangements, covering the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and, an analysis of the elements, functions and promotion of an integrated crop-based global system.
  5. Quality management, describing:  options for Quality Management Systems (QMS) for genebanks; implementation of a QMS for genebanks; and best practices for QMS for genebanks
  6. Risk management, covering risk assessment,  risk identification and analysis and risk evaluation and providing access to a generic risk assessment tool for seed crops, a generic risk assessment tool for clonal crops, a specific risk assessment tool for rice and a specific risk assessment tool for Musa.
  7. Safe Transfer of Germplasm (STOG), with information on Barley, Chickpea, Common bean, Cowpea, Faba bean, Forage grasses, Forage legumes, Groundnut, Lentil, Maize, Millets, Pigeonpea, Rice, Sorghum, Wheat, STOG clonal crops and the STOG database.
  8. Specialized collections, covering genetic stocks, non-plant taxa and underutilised species.
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