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15. Plant Genetic Resources Activities: International Perspective - R.K Arora, R.S. Paroda and J.M.M. Engels


Introduction
CGIAR
IARCs
IBPGR and its activities
PGR data management
FAO and plant genetic resources activities
FAO/IBPGR/IARCs collaboration
Other international/regional organisations
Biodiversity
Developments in biotechnology
General considerations
Summary
References
Appendix I (a). Base collections of seed crops, which accepted responsibility for long-term conservation (IBPGR Annual Report, 1989)
Appendix I (b). Field genebanks (active collections for vegetative material) which have accepted responsibility for conservation (IBPGR Annual Report, 1989)

Introduction

The field of plant genetic resources (PGR) has gained much momentum, particularly in the last two decades. It is well realised now that no single country or region can be self-sufficient in its needs on genetic diversity. It is estimated that average inter-dependence between all regions of the world is more than 50 percent - for some regions it may even be more than 90 percent (Wood, 1988). By and large, mankind depends on barely 25 crops for its major needs (Harlan, 1975). The monoculture practices, environmental degradation and urban development - all have contributed to loss of plant genetic diversity, so vital to man's food security (van Sloten, 1990 a, b). The need to protect and conserve these resources more systematically is getting recognised now more and more, and over 100 national programmes are presently operating (van Sloten, 1990 b). However, with the spread of awareness in plant genetic resources in global context, several issues have emerged and plant genetic resources have become the subject of political and economic controversy. Thus, global collaboration in PGR activities and their management is of vital importance (Esquinas-Alcazar, 1989; van Sloten, 1990 a, b).

The term 'Genetic Resources' started with the technical conference organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome in 1967, wherein scientific principles, methodologies and strategies of exploration, conservation, evaluation and documentation were elaborately discussed for the first time. A follow up of this resulted in a report on the survey of crop genetic resources (Frankel, 1970) and through subsequent conferences, in two more very timely publications (Frankel and Bennett, 1970; Frankel and Hawkes, 1975). Since then the activities have developed fast in national and international perspective. As for India, the national concern is well discussed in Chapter 14 of this book and, by and large, is also properly reflected in other topic-specific chapters. Here, it is intended to deal with the role of international organisations which have gone a long way in initiating, promoting and accelerating concern on plant genetic resources in all possible dimensions of PGR activities.

CGIAR

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) was established in 1971. It is an association of countries, international and regional organisations and private foundations dedicated to supporting a system of agricultural research centres and programmes around the world (IBPGR, 1989 b). The research carried out is directed to improve the quantity and quality of food production in developing countries. The World Bank, FAO and UNDP are co-sponsors of this effort. The CGIAR is advised by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Currently, 13 International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) are working under the aegis of the CGIAR. Of these, nine are crop commodity institutes and are also involved in the conservation and utilisation of plant genetic resources (Hawkes, 1985; van Sloten, 1990 a, b). However, the main Centre for PGR activities under the CGIAR is the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR).

The purpose of the CGIAR support to plant genetic resources is to ensure that the diversity of germplasm is safely maintained and made freely available for use in research and crop improvement for long-term benefit of all people. The CGIAR seeks to achieve this goal both directly through the institutions it supports and indirectly through strengthening national capabilities. The PGR activities supported by the CGIAR are thus diverse and include exploration and collection, characterization, multiplication, evaluation, conservation, data management, information service and the supply of germplasm to plant breeders/research workers. Where appropriate, these activities are supported by research and training (IBPGR, 1989 b; van Sloten, 1989; 1990 a, b).

IARCs

Table 1 lists the 13 International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) of the CGIAR, the countries where these are situated and their mandate. Fig. 1 shows their geographical location. Of these, nine are crop commodity centres. With well defined goals, the efforts of these IARCs directed towards augmenting genetic diversity in their mandate crops have been appreciable (Hawkes, 1985). Table 2 lists the germplasm accessions assembled by these IARCs which represent a sizable part of the total world holdings for the respective crops. The world germplasm collections of food crops are listed in Table 3 based on recent analysis (Chang, 1987; Anderson et al., 1988; van Sloten, 1990a). This also indicates the percentage of genetic material in terms of landraces and wild species, and the possible degree of threat posed to material still to be collected. The degree of comprehensiveness of germplasm collections among major food crops may thus be ranked in the order of cereals, common or Irish potato, grain legumes, sorghum and millets, cassava, soybean and peanuts, sweet potato and yam (Chang, 1987). It is also estimated that the duplication of accessions within a crop among the various genebanks may vary from 35 percent (in peanut) to 75 percent (in wheat). Details of lesser crops are given in papers published by Plucknett et al. (1983) and Lyman (1984). Most of the IARCs now have or are in a process of getting established long-term conservation facilities (van Sloten, 1990 a, b). These centres are also equally concerned with the development of overall data bases on world holdings of their mandate crops.

Fig. 1. The location of 13 International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

Table 1. International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, listed in order of year established

Acronym

Centre

Year Established

Research Programmes

Location

IRRI

International Rice Research Institute

1960

Rice

Philippines

CIMMYT

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre

1964

Maize, wheat, triticale, barley

Mexico

IITA

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

1965

Maize, rice, cowpea, sweet potato, yams, cassava

Nigeria

CIAT

Centre Internacional de Agricultura Tropical

1968

Cassava, beans, rice, pastures

Colombia

WARDA

West Africa Rice Development Association

1971

Rice

Ivory Coast

CIP

International Potato Centre

1972

Potato

Peru

ICRISAT

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

1972

Chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, sorghum, groundnut

India

ILRAD

International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases

1974

Trypanosimiasis, theileriosis

Kenya

IBPGR

International Board for Plant Genetic Resources

1974

Plant genetic resources

Italy

ILCA

International Livestock Centre for Africa

1974

Livestock production systems

Ethiopia

IFPRI

International Food Policy Research Institute

1975

Food policy

USA

ICARDA

International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas

1976

Wheat, barley, triticale, faba bean, lentil, chickpea, forages

Syria

ISNAR

International Service for National Agricultural Research

1980

National agricultural research

Netherlands

Many of the centres also have economic or farming-systems research programmes. For locations of centres, see Fig. 1.
Table 2. Germplasm holdings of IARCs (van Sloten, 1990a)

IARC


Rounded number of accessions

CIAT

(Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, Colombia)

66,000

CIMMYT

(International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Mexico)

70,000

CIP

(International Potato Centre, Peru)

12,000

ICARDA

(International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, Syria)

87,000

ICRISAT

(International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, India)

96,000

IITA

(International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria)

36,000

ILCA

(International Livestock Centre for Africa, Ethiopia)

9,000

IRRI

(International Rice Research Institute, Philippines)

83,000

WARDA

(West Africa Rice Development Association, Cote d'Ivoire)

6,000


Total

466,000


Percentage of unduplicated world holdings*

35%

* Total worldwide holdings are estimated at 2,600,000 accessions, containing a considerable amount of duplication, possibly up to 60 percent (source: Holden, 1984). The number of unique samples in genebanks around the world is, therefore, estimated at 1,050,000. Allowing for an increase of unique material over the past six years, the current estimate of unique samples is 1,300,000.
Table 3. Collection of food crop germplasm (Anderson et al., 1988)

Crop

Accessions in major gene banks (thousand)

Distinct accessions (thousand)

Percentage of genetic materials collecteda

Threat to uncollected material

Landraces

Wild species

Wheat

400

125

95

60

Medium

Rice

200

70

70

10

Medium

Maize

70

60

90

n.e.*

n.a.

Barley

250

50

40

10

Medium

Sorghum

90

20

80

10

High

Phaseolus beans

65

33

50

10

Medium/low

Groundnut

33

10

70

50

Low

Sweet potatoes

8

3

60

1

High

Potatoes

42

30

95

n.e.

Low

Okra

3

2

80

3

Medium

Cowpeas

18

12

75

1

High

* n.a. Not enough information available., n.e. not estimated., a. The base for the percentage is a collection that is judged to be adequate; Source: IBPGR 1984.
The importance and relative advantage of the IARCs are:
1. The maintenance of global collections of the mandate crops, their thorough evaluation and active utilisation in the breeding programmes, are all integrated programmes in one and the same institute.

2. The existence of well managed cooperating networks with the national programmes mainly on crop improvement, but also more and more on PGR. This has facilitated the flow of germplasm and helped building-up capabilities/facilities in the participating countries.

The IBPGR has substantially assisted the IARCs to collect germplasm which is held in trust by the IARCs and in other PGR research activities. Since 1988, IBPGR and the concerned Genetic Resources Units of the IARCs meet regularly and discuss PGR issues of common interest in an Inter-Centre PGR Working Group.

IBPGR and its activities


Global network of base collections
Crop genetic resources networks
Integrated conservation strategies

The International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) was established in 1974 within the CGIAR system to promote and coordinate the collection, conservation, documentation, evaluation and use of germplasm. Since its inception, IBPGR has been instrumental in accelerating germplasm collecting activities based on crop as well as regional priorities according to the loss of genetic diversity through spread of modern cultivars/HYVs or other bio-ecological causes resulting in the depletion of genetic diversity.

In 1986, the CGIAR approved an extended mandate to enable IBPGR to catalyze whatever actions were needed to support and widen the already existing global genetic resources network. This mandate is to further the study, collection, preservation, documentation, evaluation and utilisation of the genetic diversity of useful plants for the benefit of people throughout the world. IBPGR shall act as a catalyst both within and outside the CGIAR system in stimulating the action needed to sustain a viable network of institutions for the conservation of genetic resources for these plants.

In order to meet the requirements as described in the mandate, IBPGR reconstructed its programme as follows (Engels, 1989; van Sloten, 1989, 1990 a, b):

Germplasm acquisition: monitoring degree of genetic erosion, collecting threatened germplasm, supplementing existing gaps in germ-plasm collections and facilitating germplasm flow on a global scale.

Germplasm characterization and evaluation: generating the badly needed data on the existing collections through standardization of procedures to process, store and distribute characterization and evaluation data. Data acquisition, data analysis, application and evaluation strategy are the programme elements.

Training: the development of conceptual, technical and managerial skills through support of manpower training. This involves postgraduate training, specialized short technical courses, individual training and intern fellowships.

In-vitro culture research: development of in-vitro techniques for the collection, conservation and exchange of genotypes for recalcitrant species including collecting and tissue culture technology, disease indexing and therapy, cryopreservation, genetic stability and a pilot study for in-vitro genebanks.

Genetic diversity research: to enhance our understanding on the origin, evolution and variation patterns of crop genepools. This includes species mapping, ecogeographic studies, development of biochemical methods of description and research on wild relatives in priority crop genepools.

Seed conservation research: to establish and implement standards for seed storage. This effort includes study of physiology of stored orthodox and recalcitrant seeds, their genetic stability, dormancy, regeneration and genetic integrity as well as non-destructive disease indexing.

Global genetic resources network: developmental activities with the cooperating national programmes and IARCs including fostering base and active collections and data management and transfer. The important role of crop germplasm networks is more and more realised and used as an organisational instrument to bring all concerned workers together.

Technical services: provision of technical advice and information to all staff and scientific community, public affairs, publications and library.

The real strength of IBPGR in promoting PGR activities on global basis, particularly in the context of national programmes, has been its outreach programme (van Sloten, 1989; 1990 a, b). Eight regional offices have been established in different continents and spread in areas of developing countries, mainly those which hold rich genetic wealth, viz. in Mexico (based in CIMMYT, for Meso-America and the Caribbean); in Cali, Colombia (based in CIAT, for South America); in Rome (based at IBPGR Headquarters for Europe, North Africa and South-West Asia); in Niamey, Niger (based in the ICRISAT Sahelian Centre for West Africa); in Nairobi, Kenya (based in ILRAD for East and Southern Africa); in New Delhi, India (based in NBPGR, for South and South-East Asia - with a sub-office in Los Baños, the Philippines, based in IPB, for South-East Asia), and in Beijing, China (based in CAAS for East Asia). In addition, IBPGR's full time plant collectors are based in Cyprus and Zimbabwe. Distribution of germplasm collected as seed through the IBPGR supported missions is decentralized with Seed Handling Units in Kew, UK; Singapore; and Turrialba, Costa Rica (Fig. 2; van Sloten, 1989, 1990a).

Fig. 2. The IBPGR network

The regional offices provide vital links within their area of operation between the IBPGR, national programmes and regional programmes in gearing PGR activities in the national plant genetic resources systems (van Sloten, 1990a). They also effectively maintain coordination and cooperation with the IARCs and other regional/international organisations within their jurisdiction. They organise periodic meetings of the national PGR coordinators of different countries within the region. Thus, these offices are playing greater coordinating role, advisory service and on-spot guidance to national programmes as per the needs of the latter. The professional staff at each office, Coordinator, Associate Coordinator or Assistant Coordinator, maintain effective dialogue and cooperation and are IBPGRs true life-lines in catalyzing and strengthening such activities.

Some of the major past achievements of the IBPGR are summarized below (Engels, 1989; van Sloten, 1990 a, b):

1. The development of a global network of genebanks to conserve germplasm. At present, the network comprises over 100 operating genebanks in developing and developed countries.

2. The stimulation of other institutions on national, regional and international levels to assume the responsibility to collect, characterize and store plant genetic resources. These genebanks now operate in over 100 countries and range from emergent national entities to highly sophisticated centres in the CGIAR and in some national programmes.

3. The establishment of priorities by species and regions for the collection of threatened germplasm. Over 400 collection missions worldwide were organised and/or supported.

4. The support to train over 1450 individuals in all aspects of genetic resources conservation and utilisation.

5. The standardisation of characterization and evaluation activities through the production of descriptor lists for all major crop species (over 60 crop descriptors have been prepared).

6. The publication and dissemination of scientific reports, directories and newsletters.

Between 1974 and 1989, 188,419 samples have been collected by the IBPGR or with IBPGR support (van Sloten, 1990 a, b). These are listed in Table 4. It should be mentioned here that IBPGR does not possess any germplasm itself, all the material collected with its support is maintained in one or more global base collections and with the respective national programmes.

Tables 4. Germplasm collections made with IBPGR support upto 1989 (van Sloten, 1990a)

Cereals

74,516

Forages

29,058

Food legumes

28,856

Root and tubers

19,140

Vegetables

17,012

Industrial

8,483

Fruits

7,237

Others

4,117

Total accessions collected

1,88,419


At present, some of the major issues in the PGR community and, therefore, of major concern to IBPGR are:

1. Global network of base collections.
2. Crop genetic resources networks.
3. Integrated conservation strategies.
4. Information management in databases.
Some other issues of concern to the IBPGR and relevant to the readers deal with biodiversity, biotechnology and the intellectual property rights.

Global network of base collections

Since 1976, the IBPGR has identified a number of base collection genebanks around the world to maintain collections of specific crops on a regional or global basis. These base collections cover mainly cereals (wheat, rice, maize, barley, sorghum and millets, oats and rye); food legumes (chickpea, faba bean, groundnut, lentil, lupin, Phaseolus, pigeonpea, soybean, mung bean, cowpea and winged bean); rootcrops (cassava, potato and sweet potato); vegetables (Allium, amaranth, Capsicum, cruciferous crops, cucurbits, okra, tomato and egg plant); industrial crops (cotton, sugarcane and tobacco); and forage legumes and grasses (16 genera). These genebanks hold the collections of specific crops under conditions which preserve their long-term viability. However, some of these base collections are held by centres with only medium-term storage conditions which are accordingly being encouraged to upgrade their facilities to attain the standards necessary for long-term seed storage.

So far, the IBPGR has an understanding with 39 genebanks for the long-term conservation of most of the major and a number of minor crops with orthodox seed (FAO, 1989b); of these, 31 are in the national institutes of the following countries: Africa: Ethiopia; Asia and the Pacific: Australia (2), Bangladesh, China P.R., India, Japan (3), the Philippines and Thailand (2); Europe: Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany (2), Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain (2), Sweden, the UK (2), and the USSR; Latin America and the Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica; North America: Canada and the USA; seven are located in the GGIAR centres (CIAT, CIP, ICARDA, ICRISAT, IITA, ILCA and IRRI); and one in the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC). Appendix I (a and b) gives the details on such genebanks (IBPGR, 1990), while the current status of institutes with long-term seed storage facilities, both in the developed and developing countries, is depicted in Fig. 3 (van Sloten, 1990 b).

Fig. 3. The number of institutes with long-term seed storage facilities (van Sloten, 1990b)

Crop genetic resources networks

The primary objective of a crop network is to improve and/or coordinate conservation and utilisation of the crop genepool starting with a dialogue between all concerned parties-germplasm collectors, curators, researchers, breeders and other users -following an integrated approach (IBPGR, 1989a; van Sloten, 1990 a, b). Through stimulating the developments of such networks, IBPGR is aiming at:

1. long-term secure storage in base collections;
2. ready provision of information through databases; and
3. ready availability of samples from active collections linked with base collections and improved use of crop genepool.
The IBPGR will act as a catalyst in bringing the specialists together who then develop plans for the network. The coordination of such networks can be with an international centre or a lead breeding institute. In order to gain experience and develop the concept, a task force was established and a pilot programme was launched to promote this concern on eight crops, viz. barley, maize, groundnut, sweet potato, medics, banana, okra and sugarbeet. Each network is being developed through meetings/workshops designed to bring together national and international bodies, base and active collection curators, researchers as well as the user community. Once these initially identified networks have been set up, IBPGR plans to devote more resources to creating others. Eventually, it is hoped that networks will be established for all major crops as well as for many of the minor species, and that these networks will become self-sustainable. The scheme of IBPGR's concept of networks is given in Fig.4 (van Sloten, 1989).

Fig. 4. Schematic plan of IBPGR's concept of crop networks (van Sloten, 1989)

Integrated conservation strategies

The starting point for devising a conservation strategy is the composition of the genepool. It will be more likely that a balanced application of technologies will be needed in both in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Within the latter category, a further balance needs to be made between seed, field genebank, in-vitro, pollen and, perhaps in the future, DNA and gene storage. Depending on the biological factors (Table 5), available (technical) infrastructure, amount of accessions at hand and some other factors, one will choose one or a combination of conservation methods for a given genepool. Examples of three selected crops are given in Fig. 5 demonstrating the differences between orthodox and recalcitrant seed crops between sexually and asexually propagated crops, between annual and perennial species, and the existence and/or distribution of the wild species in their natural habitat. In the latter case, the relevance by in-situ conservation is there, whereas a crop like coconut without related wild species does not require extensive in-situ conservation. The methods, listed in Table 6, are not all suitable for long-term conservation. The majority are only suitable for short or medium-term conservation, and some others such as cryopreservation and DNA or gene libraries need further research to be safely utilised for long-term conservation. At present, only seed storage and, although less used so far, pollen storage, are safe and suitable methods enabling long-term static conservation of genetic diversity. In the case of in-situ conservation, one allows the naturally occurring species to evolve in their ecosystem and, if proper monitoring is available, this will be an adequate form of dynamic conservation (Engels, 1990). A model developed by IBPGR depicting complementary conservation methods (van Sloten, 1990a), is elaborately dealt with in Chapter 11.

Table 5. Biological factors determining conservation methods (Engels, 1990)

Biological factors

Preferred conservation methods

Remarks

1. Perennial species (especially tree species)

In-situ/field genebank In-vitro/seed and/or pollen storage

If tree species, be required for utilisation purpose

2. Annual species

Seed and/or pollen storage/ in-vitro field genebank

See also factors 3, 4, 6 and 7

3. Orthodox seeds

Seed storage


4. Recalcitrant seeds

In-vitro/in-situ/field genebank/pollen

As under 1

5. Synthetic seeds

As orthodox seeds

Method under development

6. Vegetatively propagated species without viable seeds

Field genebank/in-vitro/pollen/cryopreservation


7. Vegetatively propagated species with viable seeds

Field genebank/seed/pollen/ in-vitro/Cryopreservation

Field genebank or genotype needs to be conserved

8. Long living pollen

Pollen storage


9. Tissue culturing feasibility

If low, look for alternative method


10. Cryopreservation feasibility

If low, look for alternative method


11. Genetic stability

If low for certain method, look for alternative method



Fig. 5. The holistic conservation strategies-the approach is illustrated by examples of rice, sweet potato and coconut (Engels, unpublished)

Table 6. Most common methods used for germplasm conservation and the corresponding PGR categories (Engels, 1990)

Methods

Predominantly conserved PGR categories by corresponding method

Biosphere reserve

Ecosystem/biodiversity by and large

Nature reserve

Specific habitat/wild and/or weedy species genepool

Gene sanctuary

Ecosystem(specific)/ wild species genepool

On farm conservation (mass reservoirs, bulk hybrid populations)

Agro-ecosystem/landraces

Botanical garden/arboretum

Wild species, obsolete cultivars, tree crop germplasm

Field genebank

Wild species, vegetatively propagated crops, tree crop germplasm

Plant organ storage

Vegetatively propagated crops, mainly in the form of roots, tubers and bulbs

Seed storage

AH plant species which produce fertile and orthodox seeds

Pollen storage

In principle all species which produce long living pollen

In-vitro storage

Wild and cultivated species which produce recalcitrant or no seeds, vegetatively propagated crops, disease free germplasm as well as orthodox seeds

Cryopreservation

Germplasm mentioned above which permits cryopreservation

DNA and gene libraries

Special genetic stocks; in principle applicable for all germplasm

PGR data management


Central crop databases

The IBPGR coordinates and promotes a large network of crop genetic resources activities and has to collect, organise and provide information concerning different activities within the network. This category of information covers manpower, infrastructure and organisation of national programmes, active projects, scientific literature, training, germplasm collection with IBPGR support, etc. The IBPGR documentation programme is thus multidimensional and currently consists of the following major components:

1. Development and promotion of the use of standards for the documentation of genetic resources.

2. Support to national and international programmes to establish and/or strengthen systems for efficient handling of the data, and to acquire adequate data on accessions in collections.

3. Analysis and dissemination of genetic resources information on crops and other activities e.g. collecting, conservation, training, etc.

Central crop databases

Numerous advantages of integrating the data on germplasm held in different centres into one computer database were recognised by the IBPGR years ago. The technological advances in the field of data processing has made implementation of such databases technically feasible at a reasonable cost. Thus, in 1982, the IBPGR entered this new area of documentation of genetic resources, and the following policy was adopted with regard to establishment of centralised crop databases:

1. The data bases should be organised separately for each crop.

2. Crop databases should be located in an internationally recognised 'Centre of excellence' for the crops concerned.

3. Databases for mandate crops of the IARCs of the CGIAR should preferably be dealt by the IARCs concerned.

A central database should enable both managers of genebanks and agencies coordinating genetic resource activities to target collecting efforts; see whether accessions are safely deposited in base collections and available from active collections; plan collaborative trials aiming at characterization and/or evaluation of germplasm etc. Thus, a database is a service to breeders and other users.

FAO and plant genetic resources activities


FAO commission on plant genetic resources
International agreements/code of conduct

The initial role of the FAO, much earlier to the establishment of the IBPGR and the activities of the IARCs, has already been pointed out. Since 1983, FAO has developed a global system in plant genetic resources. This includes (Esquinas-Alcazar, 1989):

1. A flexible legal framework - the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources;
2. An intergovernmental forum - the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, and
3. The beginning of a financial mechanism - the International Fund for Plant Genetic Resources.
The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources is a formal arrangement, the objective of which is to ensure that plant genetic resources, especially species of present or future economic and social importance, will be explored, collected, preserved, evaluated and made available without restriction for breeding and other scientific purposes. The Commission on Plant Genetic Resources is a unique intergovernmental global forum, where countries which are donors or users of germplasm as well as those which are sources of germplasm can discuss matters related to plant genetic resources on an equal footing, and monitor the implementation of the principles contained in the International Undertaking. The International Fund For Plant Genetic Resources is to help ensure the conservation and promote the use of plant genetic resources on a sustainable basis at world level. The Fund provides the mechanism for countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and private industries and individuals to fulfil the common responsibility to maintain the world's plant genetic diversity (Esquinas-Alcazar, 1989). To date, 122 countries have either joined the Commission (102), have agreed to adhere to the International Undertaking (90) or taken both steps. In short, the above aspects safeguard the conservation and use of biological diversity, in plant genes, genotypes and genepools; at molecular, population, species and ecosystem level.

FAO commission on plant genetic resources

The role of the International Commission on Plant Genetic Resources is to serve as a unique intergovernmental body that monitors the implementation of the Undertaking, and ensures the comprehensiveness and efficiency of the global system in full coordination with other national, regional and international organisations involved. Since the establishment of the Commission in November 1983, and during the debates in its first two meetings (March 1985 and March 1987), which were attended both by member and non-member countries of the Commission (the latter as observers), the major reservations raised by some countries to the FAO Undertaking and Commission have been in regard to: (i) the compatibility of the Undertaking with existing national laws related to Plant Breeders' Rights for many developed countries and to restriction of exchange of certain species in some developing countries; (ii) the possible overlap between the Commission and other organisations dealing with plant genetic resources. Apart from Plant Breeders' rights, Farmers' rights have also been recognised. The International Undertaking recognises the rights of both plant breeders and farmers to benefit from their contributions to the improvement of agriculture. The adoption of Plant Breeders' rights has encouraged the development, marketing and widespread use of improved crop varieties but it has been partly responsible for reduction in the pool of crop germplasm conserved by growers. The effects of the adoption of Farmers' rights are not yet evident but should result in improved funding for and appreciation of plant genetic resources. The International Commission on PGR will have the responsibility to provide a continuing scientific and technical contribution to the discussions and debates on these topics and ensure that information of the highest standard is readily available as a basis for the formulation of national and international policies on germplasm availability and exchange (FAO, 1989b).

International agreements/code of conduct

The Commission considered the development of international agreements for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources.

In this context, it recommended that the Secretariat, in cooperation with the Working Group, should draft a code of conduct for international collectors of germplasm as also cover the conservation and use of PGR; and develop a code of conduct for biotechnology as it affects conservation and use of plant genetic resources.

FAO/IBPGR/IARCs collaboration

The IARCs and IBPGR recognise the importance of collaboration and consultation with FAO on all aspects of plant genetic resources activities. It is further recognised that FAO and the FAO Commission are probably in a better position than IBPGR and IARCs to address a number of issues of a political nature, many of which require governmental legislation. Some specific areas for collaboration are (van Sloten 1989; 1990 a, b; and the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the IBPGR and the FAO):

1. The Commission is to continue to follow-up on the free availability of germplasm and the support of all IARCs to the joint FAO/ IBPGR effort on the development of guidelines for the safe transfer of germplasm of specific crops.

2. The establishment of an organisational framework for plant genetic resources work at the national and, if required, at the regional level. The IBPGR and IARCs have for some time recognised the need for national committees, programmes and coordinators, through which and with whom they can work. It is believed that it should be the responsibility of the Commission to encourage the countries to establish this structure.

3. It is recognised that in a number of countries the development of national programmes requires technical assistance for institution building. The IBPGR and the IARCs can provide the scientific inputs in joining FAO and the Commission in mobilizing these funds.

4. In the setting-up of crop networks, the Commission should be involved in obtaining the agreements for the designations of Centres to hold base collections. The technical aspects of coordinating the networks and filling the gaps in collecting and characterization can be undertaken by IBPGR/IARCs and the collaborating institutes.

5. Safety duplication of base collections in permafrost could be another area for collaboration between the Commission, the IARCs and IBPGR.

6. The designation of in-situ reserves is a national responsibility; the Commission should follow this up with the Governments concerned. IBPGR and IARCs can advise on the technical aspects of the identification and management of these areas.

7. National capability in germplasm evaluation and plant breeding in developing countries requires strengthening and this is seen as a major task of the Commission and the FAO.

Other international/regional organisations

Besides the CGIAR network and the FAO, there are several other centres involved in PGR activities. The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC, Taiwan) has performed parallel activities as those of the IARCs. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is also actively engaged in PGR utilisation and conservation - bamboos and rattans, banana, oilseeds, smaller millets; the International Jute Organisation (IJO) in promoting collection, utilisation and conservation of jute and kenaf genetic resources; the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA); the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ); USAID and other assistance agencies in creating conservation facilities. There is an International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP, France), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia); well established country centres, such as the National Plant Germplasm System, USDA (USA), and the N.I. Vavilov All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Plant Industry/VIR (USSR); in Africa, the Plant Genetic Resources Centre/Ethiopia (PGRC/E); in Latin America, CENARGEN, Embrapa (Brazil); in East Asia, the Institute of Crop Germplasm Resources under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing; in South-East Asia, the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Philippines; and in South Asia, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi, India. Lately, the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), UK, has also exhibited much concern and interest in this discipline, confined to lesser known plants/traditional useful plants-plants of ethnobotanical interest (Paroda et al., 1988; Harris and Kapoor, 1990). The objectives of these centres/organisations may vary broadly depending on national/regional/international mandate but, by and large, the PGR activities carried out by them are complementary, with emphasis on conservation and utilisation of plant genetic wealth. More recently, much concern on these activities has been highlighted, both globally and nationally, by several NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations)/voluntary organisations such as RAFI, KENGRA, GRAIN, and in India, the Chipko movement.

Biodiversity


Botanic gardens and plant genetic resources conservation

Biological diversity is basic to both ecological and food security. Sustainable advances in biological productivity will not be possible without access to biological diversity (Swaminathan, 1989). Thus, safeguarding this endowment of nature is of paramount importance to human welfare. Its conservation is now receiving more and more attention. Several United Nations agencies have become involved in this field including the FAO, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Many non-governmental organisations are involved in the discussions on the conservation of biodiversity as well, both at the global and the national level. At the global level, this includes organisations, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the World Resources Institute (WRI), and many others (van Sloten, 1990a; IBPGR, 1990b).

Most of the organisations mentioned here are concerned about species loss rather than the loss of diversity within species. Nevertheless, there is a movement by these organisations to look below the species level as well, as shown in the 'Botanic Gardens Strategy' discussed below. A global UN Conference on the Environment and Development will be held in Brazil in June 1992, and biodiversity will play a central role in the debates.

Botanic gardens and plant genetic resources conservation

In a recent document prepared by the WWF and IUCN-BGCS (1989), it has been pointed out that as many as 60,000 plant species may be in danger of extinction or serious genetic erosion during the next 30 to 40 years. Thus, multi-pronged efforts are required to halt such species extinction and promote their conservation, study and utilisation. The botanical gardens have to play a pivotal role in this context with the triple purpose of conservation, propagation and public awareness. Their role in the last few centuries as centres of plant collection, introduction and distribution of material as well as seats of active research in systematic and economic botany has been well realised all over the world.

There are about 1500 botanic gardens and arboreta in the world, and these are playing their role in achieving conservation of plant life - wild species, cultivated types and as seeds in genebanks. The three main objectives of the living resources conservation are to:

(a) maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems,

(b) preserve genetic diversity, and (c) ensure that the utilisation of species and ecosystem is sustainable (WWF-IUCN-BGCS, 1989). Currently, the IUCN Botanic Gardens Conservation Secretariat (BGCS) is operating from Kew Garden, Richmond, UK.

The Botanic Gardens Conservation Strategy provides a rationale for the involvement of botanic gardens in conservation, and gives policy guidance on how this can be achieved and the urgency of this task. It recommends that:
1. Each individual garden clarifies its commitment to conservation in a Mission Statement and adopts more professional standards of management to achieve its Mission on conservation, documentation and exchange of information on plant species held.

2. Provides the basis for a more coherent Accessions Policy that takes account of conservation needs and what plants are held in other botanic gardens.

3. For in-situ conservation, it outlines the role of the garden in habitat evaluation, rare species monitoring, 'habitat gardening' and managing protected areas.

4. For managed ex-situ conservation, proposes strict rules and procedures for the establishment of seed banks, field genebanks and other germplasm collections, and outlines methods of sampling populations to maintain adequate genetic variation.

It proposes that maximum emphasis be put on collaboration between gardens at a national level or, where appropriate, regional level. It recommends collaboration at international level through the IUCN Botanic Gardens Conservation Secretariat.

Developments in biotechnology

The impact of biotechnology affects the accessibility of germplasm. There has been an active interest in the use of biotechnology for germplasm work for several years. In-vitro collecting of germplasm and its conservation under slow growth conditions are proving to be useful additional technologies for genetic resources work. Cryopreservation techniques are also under active investigation. Analyses of species relationships in genepools using molecular genetic techniques have provided useful results to guide collecting and utilisation programmes. The development of reliable and sensitive disease indexing procedures using antibody techniques is helping the safe transfer of germplasm throughout the world. Thus, it is necessary to ensure that new techniques are adapted for wider application in plant genetic resources work. A pragmatic approach is required alongside more conventional technologies.

General considerations

The international perspective on PGR activities, as these are taking shape today, is highlighted above. The linkages and mandates of different organisations have been reflected. It is quite evident that the problems relating to management, use and conservation of plant genetic resources are of diverse nature - scientific, technical, legal and political.

Safeguarding of crop germplasm assumes high priority. Much collections have been made and stored in genebanks. But inside agricultural experimental stations and genebanks genetic erosion continues at an alarming rate (Chang, 1987). This is particularly so in tropical countries where high temperature and humidity shorten the period during which seeds remain viable and where a considerable number of accessions can only be maintained in rather unsafe field genebanks at a high cost. Preservation is often handicapped by lack of adequate cold storage facilities, meagre support for genebank operations, shortage of trained people or discontinuity of their service and poor financial or other incentives (Chang, 1987). These situations, which hamper genetic conservation, need to be improved.

There are, in IBPGR's network, around 140 base collections of crops and 50 centres/genebanks. This network now has spread to China, and links have been developed with the USSR. However, much needs to be done by major genebanks in comparing holdings, culling redundancy and filling in gaps. The goal should be to promote judicious exchange and consolidation among collections so that duplicate storage can be provided for every valid accession.

The quality of seeds entering storage, the efficacy of storage facilities, the extent of scientific activities, the level of management, and the security of conserved stocks of seeds vary considerably from one genebank to another. It is not surprising, therefore, that genetic erosion occurs in every genebank to some extent. A collection may suffer great losses, if it is improperly monitored for viability or if rejuvenation to produce fresh seeds is delayed.

The number of genebanks has steadily increased. The distribution of genebanks in developed and developing countries is shown in Fig. 3 (van Sloten, 1990b).

Though, during the last two decades, the IARCs and the IBPGR have facilitated international exchange of germplasm, the scenario has changed with private seed firms/multinationals coming into picture and, in some cases, monopolising specific germplasm resources to their advantage. This has led to some apprehensions that breeding of elite cultivars might fall largely into a private sector which also produce agricultural chemicals. Further, widespread government regulations related to the Plant Breeders' Rights could restrict the farmers from use of patented seeds and plants. This has been the subject of debate for quite sometime and recently, the Seed Association of India had organised an international symposium. The IBPGR concern was highlighted (IBPGR, 1983; Seed Association of India, 1990; Engels and Arora, 1990). The FAO Commission is also much involved as indicated above in these issues related to Plant Breeders' Rights and Farmers' Rights. To mitigate the apprehensions of the developing countries, some of the activists/NGOs (Mooney, 1979; Kloppenburg, 1989; Fowler and Mooney, 1990) have widely publicised these issues which are still being debated. Possibly, steps such as the implementation of International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources will provide a bridge to ensure free access to crop germplasm on a global basis. Thus, much public awareness has been generated. The society is well aware now about the importance of germplasm and its use. Practical management and policy measures need to be worked out. Some of the controversial issues are also being discussed in an independent forum facilitated by the Keystone Centre. The outcome of the second meeting in the Dialogue Series on PGR, held in Madras in 1990, has been published in a comprehensive report (Keystone, 1990).

In practice, development of improved cultivars and their distribution will remain in the hands of governmental institutions in developing countries and of the IARCs, though private sector enterprise, particularly in USA, has begun to contribute funds to germplasm conservation programmes. The CGIAR has placed equally great emphasis on these issues related to exploitation of plant germplasm and ensuring their security (Jain, 1988). There is increasing need in educating administrators, politicians, donors, journalists, social activists/NGOs, students and teachers, and the general public in this context. An expanded dialogue with many sectors of society is essential for public support. An overall PGR concern is well expressed in some of the recent thought provoking articles (Frankel, 1985, 1986 a and b, 1987, 1989; Esquinas-Alcazar, 1989; van Sloten, 1990 a, b), and books brought out on this subject (Frankel and Bennett, 1970; Frankel and Hawkes, 1975; Harlan, 1975; Frankel and Soulé, 1981; Hawkes et al, 1983; Holden and Williams, 1984; Plucknett et al., 1987, Brown et al., 1989). The growing interest and concern is also well evident from the informative international journals such as 'Diversity' from the USA, and 'Geneflow' from Rome, published by the IBPGR. Special publications such as 'Botanical Gardens Conservation Strategy' (WWF-IUCN-BGCS, 1989) and 'Plant Genetic Resources and their Conservation in-situ for Human Use' (FAO, 1989a) are some of the more recent additions. The national and regional programmes have also effectively contributed in this direction by organising symposia, etc. (Hutchinson, 1974; Ramanujam and Ayer, 1974; Singh and Chomchalow, 1982; Mehra and Sastrapradja, 1985; Paroda, Arora and Chandel, 1988; Suzuki, 1988; Engels et al., 1991), and in bringing out relevant publications, such as training manuals (Mehra et al., 1981), wild relatives of crop plants in India (Arora and Nayar, 1984) and less known edible food plants (Arora, 1985). The PGR community presently thus is much richer in its knowledge on plant genetic resources.

The above issues apart, with all our achievements on this front, there is still a need to augment genetic diversity from protected and natural habitats, such as unimproved germplasm grown in traditional farmlands, orchards and forestlands. The national programmes are playing a more concerted role in this direction than ever before though these are frequently handicapped by funding aspects. These gene-rich countries would need an international umbrella to support their activities. The IBPGR has been providing the required impetus in this direction through training programmes (Stalker and Chapman, 1989), distribution of information, guideline manuals, free advisory service and need-based support since its inception in collecting, conservation and documentation activities; though lately, it has taken up more of a catalyzing and advisory role. Certainly, national programmes, which are the backbone to the future build up and survival of this networking and coordination, must be strengthened further.

Summary

Concern on plant genetic resources has attained global, regional and national importance, particularly in the last two decades. The International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) are playing great role in the improvement and utilisation of their mandate crops, and in the collection and conservation of the concerned crop genetic diversity. However, the overall key role in promoting concern on plant genetic resources activities in a global context and in coordinating these activities is being performed by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) in close interaction with the FAO and IARCs, and the national programmes. The FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, as an inter-governmental body, is concerned with several policy issues to ensure the efficiency of operating a global system in full coordination with national, regional and international organisations. A broad perspective highlighting these activities in international context has been discussed. The role of other international organisations, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and several others has also been stressed.

References

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Appendix I (a). Base collections of seed crops, which accepted responsibility for long-term conservation (IBPGR Annual Report, 1989)

Crop

Species covered

Scope of collection

Institute



Global

Regional


Cereals

Barley


·

European African

PGR, Ottawa, Canada
NGB, Lund, Sweden
PGRC/E, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia




·

Asian

NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan
ICARDA, Syria


Maize



New World
Asian
Asian
European Mediterranean

NPGS, USA
NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan
TISTR, Bangkok, Thailand
VIR, Leningrad, USSR
Portuguese Genebank, Braga, Portugal


Millets

Pennisetum

·


NPGS, USA




·


PGR, Ottawa, Canada




·


ICRISAT, India



Eleusine

·


PGRC/E, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia




·


ICRISAT, India



Minor Indian millets


Indian

NBPGR, New Delhi, India



Eragrostis

·


PGRC/E, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Panicum miliaceum

·


ICRISAT, India



Setaria italica

·


ICRISAT, India


Oats

Avena

·


PGR, Ottawa, Canada




·


NGB, Lund, Sweden




·


FAL, Braunschweig, FRG


Rice

Oryza sativa-indica

·


IRRI, Philippines



javanica

·


IRRI, Philippines



japonica

·

African

NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan
IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria
NPGS, USA



Wild species

·


IRRI, Philippines


Rye


·


Polish Genebank, Radzikow




·


NGB, Lund, Sweden


Sorghum


·


NPGS, USA




·


ICRISAT, India


Wheat

Cultivated species

·


VIR, Leningrad, USSR




·


CNR, Bari, Italy




·


NPGS, USA





Asian

CAAS, Beijing




·


ICARDA, Syria


Wild species (Triticum and Aegilops)


·


Plant Germplasm Institute, University of Kyoto, Japan




·


ICARDA, Syria

Food

Chickpea


·


ICRISAT, India

Legumes



·


ICARDA, Syria


Cicer spp.


·


ICARDA, Syria


Faba bean


·


CNR, Bari, Italy




·


ICARDA, Syria


Groundnut


·


ICRISAT, India





South American

INTA, Pergamino, Argentina


Lentil


·


ICARDA, Syria


Lens spp.


·


ICARDA, Syria


Lupin


·


ZIGuK, Gatersleben, GDR





European

INIA, Madrid, Spain


Pea


·

Mediterranean Central and East European

NGB, Lund, Sweden
CNR, Bari, Italy
Polish Genebank, Radzikow, Poland


Phaseolus

Wild species

·


JBNB, Bruxelles, Belgium



Cultivated species

·


CIAT, Colombia




·


NPGS, USA





European

FAL, Braunschweig, FRG


Pigeonpea


·


ICRISAT, India




·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India


Soybean


·


NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan




·


NPGS, USA



Wild perennial

·


CSIRO, Canberra, Australia


Vigna

Wild species

·


JBNB, Bruxelles, Belgium


V. mungo


·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India


V. radiata


·


IPB, Los Baños, Philippines




·


AVRDC, Taiwan, China


V. umbellata


·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India


V. unguiculata


·


IITA, Nigeria




·


NPGS, USA


Winged bean


·


IPB, Los Baños, Philippines




·


TISTR, Bangkok, Thailand

Root

Carrot


·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK

crops

Cassava (seed)


·


CIAT, Colombia


Solanum spp.


·


CIP, Peru


Sweet potato (seed)


·


NPGS, USA





Asian

AVRDC, Taiwan, China




·


NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan

Vegetables

Allium


·


CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands




·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK




·


NPGS, USA




·

South and East European

RCA, Tapioszele, Hungary





Asian

NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan


Amaranthus


·


NPGS, USA





Asian

NBPGR, New Delhi, India


Capsicum


·


CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica




·


AVRDC, Taiwan, China





Asian

NBPGR, New Delhi, India


Cruciferae

Brassica carinata

·


FAL, Braunschweig, FRG




·


PGRC/E, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



B. oleracea

·


CAAS, Beijing, China




·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK




·


CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands



Raphanus

·


CAAS, Beijing, China




·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK





Asian

NBPGR, New Delhi, India



Wild species

·


Universidad Politécnica Madrid, Spain




·


Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan


Oilseeds and green manures

B. campestris

·


PGR, Ottawa, Canada



B. juncea


Asian

NBPGR, New Delhi, India



B. napus, Sinapis alba

·


FAL, Braunschweig, FRG


Vegetables and Fodders







B. campestris, B. juncea, B. napus

·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK



B. napus

·


FAL, Braunschweig, FRG


All Cruciferae crops



East Asian

NIAR, Tsukuba, Japan


Lactuca spp.


·


IHR, Wellesbourne, UK




·


CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands


Okra


·


NPGS, USA




·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India


Safflower


·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India


Tomato


·


CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica




·


ZIGuK, Gatersleben, GDR




·


NPGS, USA





Asian

EPB, Los Baños, Philippines


South-East Asian vegetables



Southeast Asian

IPB, Los Baños, Philippines


Cucurbitaceae







Benincasa, Luffa, Momordica, Trichosanthes

·


IPB, Los Baños, Philippines



Cucumis, Citrullus, Cucurbita

·


NPGS, USA



Citrullus, Cucurbita

·


VIR, Leningrad, USSR



Cucumis, Citrullus

·


INIA, Madrid, Spain


Eggplant


·


CGN, Wageningen, Netherlands




·


NPGS, USA




·


NBPGR, New Delhi, India

Industrial crops

Beet


·


FAL, Braunschweig, FRG




·


NGB, Lund, Sweden





Mediterranean

Greek Gene bank, Thessaloniki


Cotton



Mediterranean

Green Gene Bank, Thessaloniki


Sugarcane (seed)


·


NAIR, Tsukuba, Japan




·


NPGS, USA




·

Mediterranean

Green Gene Bank, Thessaloniki


Jute and Kenaf


·


BJRI, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Forages

Legumes

Centrosema

·


CIAT, Colombia




·


CENARGEN, Brazil




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Desmodium

·


CIAT, Colombia




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Desmanthus

·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Stylosanthes

·


CIAT, Colombia




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Leucaena

·


NPGS, USA



Lotononis

·


ILCA, Ethiopia




·


Seed bank, RBG, Kew, UK



Macroptilium

·


CENARGEN, Brazil




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Neonotonia

·

African

ILCA, Ethiopia




·


Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, UK



Zornia

·


NPGS, USA




·


CIAT, Colombia



Trifolium

·

African

ILCA, Ethiopia




·


Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, UK


Grasses

Cynodon

·


NPGS, USA



Cenchrus

·


Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, UK




·


ILCA, Ethiopia




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia



Digitaria

·


ILCA, Ethiopia




·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia




·


Seed bank, RBG, Kew, UK



Pennisetum

·


NPGS, USA



Paspalum

·


NPGS, USA



Urochloa

·


CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia

Others

Tree species (Fuel and environmental stabilization in arid areas)


·


Seed Bank, RBG, Kew, UK


Sesame


·


KARI, Nairobi, Kenya




·


RDA, Rep. Korea


Sunflower


·

European, Mediterranean

Research Institute of Plant Production, Czechoslovakia

Appendix I (b). Field genebanks (active collections for vegetative material) which have accepted responsibility for conservation (IBPGR Annual Report, 1989)

Crop

Species covered

Scope of collection

Institute



Global

Regional


Roots and Tubers

Cassava


·


CIAT, Colombia





Central American

INIA, Mexico





African

IITA, Nigeria


Sweet potato



Asian and Pacific

AVRDC, Taiwan, China




·


IITA, Nigeria

Fruits

Banana


·


Banana Board, Jamaica





Southeast Asian

PCARRD, Philippines





African

DGRST, Cameroon


Citrus



East Asian

Fruit Tree Research Station, Tsukuba, Japan





Mediterranean

INIA, Valencia, Spain





Mediterranean and African

IRFA, Corsica, France





North American

USDA, USA





Latin American

CENARGEN, Brazil





South Asian

IIHR, India*


Subfamily Aurantiodes


·


University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Industrial crops

Cocoa/Cacao


·


University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago






CATIE, Costa Rica


Sugarcane


·


Sugarcane Breeding






Institute, Coimbatore, India




·


USDA, Florida USA

Perennial species

Allium


·

Short day species

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel*




·

Long-day species

Research Institute for Vegetable Growing and Breeding, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia


Arachis (wild)



Latin American

CENARGEN, Brazil


Glycine (wild)


·


CSIRO, Australia

* Under discussion or awaiting formal agreement.


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