Seed bank for cultivated rice genetic resources

Contributors to this page: T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Centre-IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines (Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, Ken McNally, Flora de Guzman, Renato Reaño, Soccie Almazan, Adelaida Alcantara, Elizabeth Naredo); WARDA, Cotonou, Benin (Ines Sánchez); UPLB-University of the Philippines at Los Baños (Teresita Borromeo).

When seed banks are used

Inspecting records inside IRRI’s International Rice Genebank. (photo: IRRI)

Conservation of rice seed materials under cold (between 2 and -20oC) and dry (moisture content of 6-7% fresh weight) storage is the most common, efficient and cheap means of conservation of rice genetic resources. There are more than 480 000 samples of cultivated rice seeds conserved in seed banks worldwide. Most cultivated rice accessions are conserved in seed banks.

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.