Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

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Cassava genetic resources Safety duplication

Safety duplication of cassava genetic resources

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

When should it be used

  • For all original germplasm collected by the genebank.
  • For germplasm held only by the genebank.
  • Safety duplicated material should preferably be located in a different country.

See also the general page on safety duplication procedures, as well the procedures on the safe transfer of clonal germplasm that should be carefully followed.

Cassava germplasm should be duplicated in a systematic way, consistently sharing information and germplasm to optimize the conservation system.

Material should be duplicated in more than one location and/or using more than one method (i.e. in the field and in vitro or tissue culture and cryo).

Sample specifications

  • Minimum of 1-3 explants per accession.

Container specifications

To ensure explant viability in the genebank and en route to the users.

  • Glass test tubes covered and sealed.

Storage specifications

Storage conditions

Shipping method

  • Prepare the documentation of outgoing plant material shipments with Phytosanitary Certificate, the Import Permit and the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).
  • Follow the same procedures for the plant material shipments from the genebank.
  • Packages should be shipped using the most reliable, quickest and most cost effective route and carrier possible, in order to prevent deterioration of plant quality during transfer.
  • Generally avoid shipments during the hottest times of the year. 

Legal arrangements

The source centre, host country and importing centre and country policies and practices for germplasm movement for black-box storage must be fulfilled. The documentation listed below should be included to facilitate customs clearance:

  • MOU for safety duplication.
  • Phytosanitary Certificate.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Certificate of no-commercial value.
  • Electronic and hard copy of associated passport information.
  • GMO-free certificate (if required).

IITA, Nigeria has the following procedure:

  • An agreement with IITA-Cotonou to keep a black-box, including:
    • Special agreement with the Plant Quarantine Services of Benin to use only an import permit and no need for Phytosanitary Certificates.
    • Germplasm cannot be used in Benin or distributed elsewere.
    • If material needs to be transferred to the field, it should first be repatriated to Nigeria.

CIAT, Colombia follows these procedures:

  • An agreement with CIP, Peru to keep a black-box (non-active duplicate) of cassava germplasm that is only growing in vitro.
  • Cassava core collections are also maintained as safety duplicates in liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation).

Recording information during safety duplication

The following steps should be taken regularly, due to the short-term duration of conserving clonal crops:

  • Updated lists of existing germplasm should be sent to the owner of germplasm regularly (every 3-4 months in the case of IITA).
  • Lists should be checked and any new material (not duplicated in the recipient genebank) should be identified.
  • Depending on seedling availability at the owner’s genebank, seedlings should start to be prepared and the recipient genebank informed to start preparing the relevant documentation.

The following information should be kept updated:

  • Number of seedlings per accession.
  • Date of production of seedling.
  • Date of safety duplication.
  • Name of institute holding the safety duplicate.
  • Box label where the sample is placed.

References and further reading

Frison EA, Feliu E, editors. 1991. FAO/IBPGR Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Cassava Germplasm. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome/International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, Rome.

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International Agricultural Research Centres who worked together to make this site possible:
Africa Rice Center | Bioversity International | CIAT | CIMMYT | CIP | ICARDA | ICRISAT | IFPRI | IITA | ILRI | IRRI |

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