Crop Genebank Knowledge Base

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Crops Chickpea Conservation Distribution

Distribution of cultivated chickpea and wild relatives genetic resources

Contributors to this page: ICRISAT, Patancheru, India (Hari D Upadhyaya, Shivali Sharma, Cholenahalli L Laxmipathi Gowda, Dintyala Sastry, Sube Singh); NBPGR, New Delhi, India (Shyam Sharma); ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria (Ahmed Amri, Kenneth Street, Natalya Rukhkyan), SARC-RIPP, Piestany, Slovak Republic (Gabriela Antalikova); Institute of Plant Genetic Resources ‘K.Malkov’, Sadovo, Bulgaria (Siyka Stoyanova); Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia (Bob Redden); IPK, Gatersleben, Germany (Andreas Börner).

Policies and regulations






Policies and regulations for distribution

Common policies on distribution and access to plant material

  • Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) for distribution of in-trust germplasm accessions [International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)].
  • Germplasm distribution free of charge for limited quantities.
  • Unrestricted access to germplasm for research and development.

Policy exceptions

  • Germplasm Acquisition Agreement (GAA) (ITPGRFA).
  • Black-box storage.
  • Multi-lateral system (MLS) for germplasm exchange with Conference of Parties (COP) to the Treaty.
  • Collaborative Projects between Government organizations/institutes.

National laws and regulations

Based on countries' sovereign rights over germplasm and National Biodiversity Policies:

  • Germplasm Acquisition Agreement (GAA).
  • Import permit.
  • Phytosanitary certificate (PSC).
  • GMO-free certificate.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Letter of donation (with no commercial value).
  • Plant quarantine orderv(regulation of import into India), 2003.
  • Biological Diversity Act (2002).

International laws and regulations

Based on the ITPGRFA, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Germplasm Exchange and Quarantine of ICRISAT Mandate Crops.

  • Germplasm Acquisition Agreement (GAA).
  • Import permit.
  • Phytosanitary certificate (PSC).
  • Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).
  • Others.

Phytosanitary regulations

  • Phytosanitary certificate (PSC).
  • Certificate of origin and GMO-free certificate (Plant Quarantine Order 2003, Government of India,

Back to top

User related issues for distribution

Feedback to users

This is based upon the various centres' practices and experience (aiming to respond promptly with required accessions):

  • With all documents in place and limited number of accessions: one week within country.
  • Aim to meet requests for germplasm within two weeks within Australia.
  • Longer to overseas depending on postage and need for AQIS phytosanitary inspection.
  • Requests for 100-500 accessions can take up to two weeks longer to assemble.
  • Some requests are not specific and may take longer to clarify requirements.
  • Phytosanitary inspections may require an additional time, even up to three to four weeks.

Customer assurance

Based on GIMS, Germplasm catalogues, SINGER database; PGRFA policy for free and open access to germplasm and documentation.

  • Improved and updated characterization and passport databases.
  • Knowledge on the collection.
  • Well classified and documented information on collections.
  • The material is sent based upon the type of request (targeted/non-targeted).

Feedback from users

Send a Germplasm Utilization Feedback form with every supply, with the following issues:

  • Comments on the appropriateness of the material supplied.
  • Voluntary feedback of evaluation data.
  • Performance of the accessions under different environmental conditions and the special traits observed.

Quantity of material recommended to be distributed

Unless special urgent circumstances are presented (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009):

  • Cultivated chickpea – 100 seeds.
  • Wild Cicer – 10 seeds.

Back to top

Procedures for distribution

Check availability

  • Check the existence of seeds using the inventory management system and physical verification (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).
  • Check the availability in stock using the inventory management system and physical verification (GIMS).
  • Check the passport data, especially the status of designation using an electronic version of the databases (GIMS).

Preparing samples for distribution

  • Registering the request (GIMS).
    • Do an automatic registration using the distribution module.
    • Requests should be registered with a number and filed electronically for future feedback.
  • Preparing a list of accessions available with an inventory management system and manual (GIMS).
    • Checking requirements for material transfer agreements using manual and electronic databases (GIMS).
  • Generating labels.
    • Generate labels for the selected accessions using the module Numeric/bar code ID fixed with adhesive and stapled on all seed packets for each accession (GIMS).
  • Labelling the accession containers (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).
    • Manual pasting on metal folding paper envelops.
    • Label should be affixed to each seed packet and packets should be enclosed in a sealed plastic bag and placed in box / padded envelope for shipment.
  • Check the inventory file and note the location of the container (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).
  • Remove containers from the genebank and perform the acclimatization procedures required (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).
    • For smaller numbers of samples, containers should not be removed from the genebank. Samples should be directly drawn and kept under ambient conditions for supply.
    • For large numbers of samples, take the containers from the genebank and move them out to a dehumidified room the previous evening to allow them to warm up to room temperature before opening.
  • Assuring accuracy in identification (GIMS).
    • Cross-check identification with passport and characterization databases.
    • Visual and barcode verification with label on storage pouch for each accession.
  • Extracting samples from the original containers.
    • In a two-way system of active and base collections, the source for distribution should only be the active collection. The base collection and the reference samples should not be used for seed supply (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).

Preparing the information list to accompany the plant material

According to the Genebank Manual of ICRISAT (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009).

  • Passport data (Germplasm Assembly Module of GIMS).
  • Accession identification and alternate identity (Germplasm Assembly Module of GIMS).
  • Source country (Germplasm Assembly Module of GIMS).
  • Location and biological status (Germplasm Assembly Module of GIMS).
  • Limited characterization data used to verify accessions (Germplasm Characterization Module of GIMS).
  • Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).
  • Cover letter (detailed cover letter on the consignment and related documents with necessary suggestions on using the material).

Dispatching the plant material


Envelopes containing chickpea seeds ready for distribution (photo: ICRISAT)

According to the Genebank Manual of ICRISAT (Upadhyaya and Laxmipathi, 2009)

  • Pack the seed envelopes, covering letter, phytosanitary certificate, import permit, GMO free certificate and seed list in a jiffy bag or suitable size cardboard box.
  • Label it with the complete address of the consignee.
  • Use filling material to avoid damage to seeds during transit.
  • Include a reply form.
  • Attach acknowledgment letter and SMTA form for reply with every consignment.
  • If germplasm is a wild species, additional information for germinating seeds is enclosed.
  • Send the plant materials with a standard post, but may use courier, if urgent.
  • Record shipping details, the request number, date of sending the material and destination for retracing, if material is lost in transit.
  • Update the inventory of genebank.
    • Necessary for future distribution as well as for regeneration purposes.
    • Dynamic updating of seed stock weight in collection is important, while packaging seed for request.

Back to top

Recording information

Recording information during distribution

The following information must be recorded for each accession:

  • Status [inside supply/external supply (GIMS)].
  • Reference number [an auto generated reference number e.g. Ext- 20/2008 (GIMS)].
  • Name of crop [e.g. chickpea (GIMS)].
  • Consignee’s name and designation, including the first name, last name (GIMS).
  • Use Code [type of user e.g. University (GIMS)].
  • Designation of the consignee (GIMS).
  • Name of organization (GIMS).
  • Type of cooperator [code (GIMS)].
  • Name and address of organization [detailed address including the location, province, airport, pin code, fax/email (GIMS)].
  • User information (type of organization requesting materials) – user code (GIMS).
  • Name of country and region (GIMS).
  • Type of material [e.g core collection (GIMS)].
  • Date of receiving the germplasm request [e.g. dd/mm/yyyy (GIMS)].
  • Request type (GIMS):
    • Mode of request (e.g. email).
    • Specificity of request (e.g. targeted/non-targeted).
  • SMTA status [e.g. received/form sent (GIMS)].
  • Date of supplying the samples [e.g. dd/mm/yyyy (GIMS).
  • Number and quantity of samples provided [number of samples and quantity of seeds per sample (GIMS)].
  • Phytosanitary certificate [a quarantine requirement (GIMS)].
  • Export permit number (GIMS).
  • Mode of dispatch [e.g. Airfreight/Courier (GIMS)].
  • Receipt of acknowledgement (GIMS).
  • Purpose of using germplasm [e.g. adaptation (GIMS)].
  • Remarks [special requests, type of material (GIMS)].
  • Others [passport data of requested germplasm sent electronically (GIMS)].
  • Any other information.

System for tracking material/inventory system for distribution

  • Inventory module for active and base collections should be updated with every sample transaction (GIMS).
  • Physical verification at regular intervals for small collections (GIMS).

References and further reading

Chakrabarty SK, Anitha K, Girish AG, Sarath BB, Prasada RRDVJ, Varaprasad KS, Khetarpal RK, Thakur RP. 2005. Germplasm Exchange and Quarantine of ICRISAT Mandate Crops. Information Bulletin No. 69. Rajendranagar 500 030, Andhra Pradesh, India: National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources; and Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. 80 pp. ISBN 92-9066-481-9.

Chickpea. [online]. Availalable from: Date accessed: 30 January 2010.

FAO/IPGRI. 1994. Genebank standards. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome. Available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

GIMS (Genebank Information Management System) – a standalone facility of ICRISAT Genebank. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, A.P. 502 324, India. In: Manual of Genebank Operations and Procedures - Technical Manual no. 6. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: ISBN 92-9066-421-5.

ICRISAT Chickpea collection. SINGER [online] Available from: Date accessed: 30 January 2010.

Upadhyaya HD, Laxmipathi Gowda CL. 2009. Managing and Enhancing the Use of Germplasm – Strategies and Methodologies. Technical Manual no. 10. Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. 236 pp.

Back to top

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • No comments found

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 |

You are here: Crops Chickpea Conservation Distribution