Genetic resources conservation is vital to global food security and poverty alleviation. IITA’s Genetic Resources Center (GRC) plays a major role in the conservation of seed crop germplasm in order to prevent the genetic erosion of these crop species and maintain a genetic base for crop improvement.

IITA conserves a collection of seed crops that includes cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), soybean (Glycine max), maize (Zea mays), Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea), African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa), wild vigna (Wild Vigna species) and some miscellaneous legumes (Annex 1). The seeds are maintained at both medium and long term cold storage at a temperature of 50C and -200C, respectively.

 

Accessions at IITA are conserved for the purpose of research, breeding and training for food and agriculture in the framework of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The Genetic Resource Center’s aim is to conserve its plant genetic resources under conditions that meet and exceed recognized international standards based on current technologies and scientific knowledge.

IITA conserves the largest collection of cowpea in the world and has successfully implemented a cryopreservation for clonal crops, the best method existing so far.

IITA Genetic Resources Center collaborates with National Advanced Research Services, breeders and other scientists in ensuring sustainable agriculture to provide training and capacity building.

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Mandate Crops

Seed Crops

The genebank also collaborate very closely with the IITA seed breeders to get improved seeds lines across to requestors.

Clonal Crops

With the increasing climatic and environmental threats, IITA Genetic Resources Center (GRC) employ tissue culture (micropropagation) techniques in conserving endangered and rare CLonal Crops

Other Crops

West Africa, the seeds of the African yam bean are primarily used, while in the East and Central regions of Africa, the tubers are primarily used.

IITA Genebank Accessions Origin

Number Of Ascensions  

IITA Genebank Accessions Origin

Accessions at IITA are conserved for the purpose of research, breeding and training for food and agriculture in the framework of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).

  • Seed bank
  • Field bank
  • In-vitro bank
  • Cryopreservation bank
  • Data Management Publications