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IITA | Genebanks | Genebank Platform

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International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Genetic Resources Centre

IITA’s genebank is responsible for a range of crops important for food security in Africa. These include seed crops such as Bambara groundnut, cowpea, maize, soybean, African yam bean and other legume species and clonal crops such as banana, cassava and yam, which require very different methods of conservation.


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IITA’s medium-term storage. Seeds conserved in medium-term storage are kept at 4 degrees celsius.
IITA’s medium-term storage. Seeds conserved in medium-term storage are kept at 4°C. Credit: Crop Trust
IITA technician working in the in-vitro lab to propagate cassava accessions.
IITA technician working in the in vitro lab to propagate cassava accessions. Credit: Crop Trust

Crops that produce orthodox seeds are maintained in medium-term storage (5°C and 30–35% relative humidity) or long-term storage (–20°C). Clonal crops are maintained in field genebanks and in vitro.

The IITA genebank collaborates with CGIAR breeders of maize, banana, grain legumes and roots and tubers.

The germplasm health unit is well established. Work is taking place to establish a high-throughput procedure for cleaning yam accessions of pests and diseases.

Useful information

Genebank Manager: Michael Abberton
Head of GHU: Lava Kumar
Key staff: Badara Gueye, In vitro specialist; Tchamba Marimagne, Database manager.

Banana

Cassava

Cowpea

Maize

Yam

External links

IITA Genetic Resources Center Website
Search IITA’s crop databases
Search Genesys for accessions at IITA

IITA genebank by the numbers

arrow-icon Created with Sketch. arrow-icon Created with Sketch.
Full-time staff equivalents 40.1
Date to reach performance targets Seed collections 2017; clonal collections 2021
Projected accession numbers in 2022 Seed collections 23,731; clonal collections 9,440

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