Distribution of cassava genetic resources

Contributors to this page: CIAT, Colombia (Daniel Debouck); IITA, Nigeria (Dominique Dumet); Bioversity International/ILRI, Ethiopia (Alexandra Jorge); INIA, Peru (Llerme Rios); independent consultant (Clair Hershey).

An important role of in vitro genebanks is the distribution of germplasm to different users.

Click here to open a PDF document that shows how to disseminate germplasm in detailed steps.

Policies and regulations
User related issues for distribution
Procedures for distribution
Recording information during distribution

Policies and regulations

Cassava dissemination (photo:IITA)

Common policies on distribution and access to plant material

Policy exceptions

National laws and regulations

It is essential to follow the terms and conditions in the host country agreements:

International laws and regulations

The shipment of plant material should be sent with the SMTA under the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Phytosanitary regulations

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User related issues for distribution

Feedback to users

Factors that can influence the delivery of plant material:

Recommended procedures that ensure the material distributed matches the client request:

Feedback from users

The most relevant information required to be received from users:

Quantity of material recommended to be distributed

Cassava accessions typically consist of a single clone, i.e there is no genetic variation within an accession. A single plant can represent the full diversity of the accession. The main consideration on quantity of material to send is to assure that the recipient has a very high probability to successfully recover the accession from in vitro culture.

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Procedures for distribution

Check availability

Availability in stock

Checking passport data

Preparing vegetative material for distribution

(photo: CIAT)

(photo: C. Hershey)
Safe international exchange of cassava germplasm may be through
in vitro cultures or true seeds

Dispatching the plant material

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Recording information during distribution

System for tracking material/inventory system for distribution

References and further reading

Ceballos H. 2006. Cassava research at CIAT [poster]. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia. Available from: Date accessed: 26 August 2010.

Guevara CL, Mafla G. 1996. Manihot collections held at CIAT. In: Engelmann F, editor. Management of field and in vitro Germplasm collections. CIAT, Cali, Colombia. pp. 109-112.

Mafla G, Roa JC, Debouck DG. 2004. Observations about the distribution of cassava germplasm from an international collection. Poster presented at the CBN-V. Available from: Date accessed: 30 August 2010.

Mafla G, Roa JC, Flor NC, Aranzales E, Debouck DG. 2006. Distribution of cassava germplasm from an international genebank: a service to the global agriculture. Poster presented at the first meeting of the Governing Body, ITPGRFA, Madrid, Spain, 12-16 June 2006. Available from: Date accessed: 30 August 2010.

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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.