International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Wellhausen-Anderson Genetic Resources Collections

CIMMYT manages diverse collections of maize and wheat.

A CIMMYT technician counts maize seeds in the CIMMYT genebank.
A CIMMYT technician counts maize seeds in the CIMMYT genebank. Credit: Getty Images Reportage photographer Juan Arrendodo

The wheat collection numbers about 150,000 accessions from more than 100 countries, and consists of bread wheat, durum wheat and triticale landraces, cultivars, genetic stocks, breeders’ materials and wild relatives. The maize collection of 28,000 accessions includes the world’s largest collection of maize landraces, created and maintained by farmers over many generations, as well as wild teosinte and Tripsacum wild relatives of maize.

CIMMYT is actively assessing the diversity of the maize and wheat seed collections using genomics technologies. Developing links between accession data and data from breeders are another focus of work. The genebank has been a pioneer in using GRIN-Global and in establishing a QMS. Several operations are certified to ISO 9001:2008 standard.

The Seed Health Unit ensures that all seed conserved in the genebank, as well as any seed imported to or exported from any of CIMMYT’s research locations, meets international phytosanitary standards. The Seed Health Unit has attained ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

Useful information

Genetic Resources Program director: Kevin Pixley
Maize germplasm bank manager: Denise Costich
Wheat germplasm bank manager: Tom Payne
Seed health laboratory manager: Monica Mezzalama




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