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Storage of cultivated barley and wild relatives genetic resources

Contributors to this page: ICARDA, Syria (Ahmed Amri, Bilal Humeid, Kenneth Street, Natalya Rukhkyan, Jan Konopka, Siham Asaad, Adnan Omran and Fida Alô).

Contents:
Base collection
Active collection
Storage management

Base collection

The base collection at ICARDA (photo: ICARDA)

A base collection is a long-term storage. The initial population is used as a bench mark for monitoring changes in genetic diversity over time and after several cycles of regeneration due to genetic drift. It should insure that an accession’s seed viability remains at acceptable levels for at least 50 years, or for at least one regeneration cycle of the accession.

When it should be used

Sample specifications

These are required to choose a representative sample and to avoid genetic drift.

Minimum sample size for storage

Minimum viability for storage

Moisture content

Container specifications

Seed packaging method

Specifications of packaging material

Storage specifications

Assigning location codes

Storage conditions

Recording information during storage – Base collection

The following information should be recorded for each step:

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Active collection

The active collection at ICARDA (photo: ICARDA)

An active collection consists of accessions that are available for distribution and are accessed frequently. The active collection is intended to preserve germplasm viability in medium-term storage conditions for at least 20 years or for half of one regeneration cycle in the base collection.

When it should be used

Sample specifications

Minimum sample size for storage

Viability for storage

Moisture content

Container specifications

Seed packaging method

Use permeable plastic containers (this will create the balance between seed moisture content and the ambient relative humidity).

Specifications of packaging material

Storage specifications

Assigning location codes

Storage conditions:

Recording information during storage – Active collection

The following information should be recorded for each step:

For information on safety duplication in seed banks, click here.

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Storage management

Provides guidance on how to arrange the physical space, how to track seed material and record information during storage.

Storage space arrangement

It is very important to provide easy access to the accessions.

Room

Shelves

System for tracking material/inventory system

Recording information during storage

The following information must be recorded for each consignment:

References and further reading

Rao NK, Hanson J, Dulloo ME, Ghosh K, Nowel D, Larinde M. 2006. Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. Available in English (1.5 MB),  Spanish (1.4 MB) and French (1.9 MB).

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The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.

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