Standards and best practices for genebank management


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A presentation by Eshan Dulloo at the European Plant Genetic Resources Conference 2011. The conference brought together global particpants interested in making greater use of the agricultural biodiversity conserved in genebanks.

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  • In order to add value to collections, it was felt important to suggest new standards for characterization.
  • Research after 1994 have shown that maximum longevity is achieved at a critical MC below which there is no gain. Drying conditions that achieve the critical moisture level at the storage temperature should be determined using water sorption isotherms which show the relationship between the amount of water in the seeds, usually expressed as a percentage of the total seed weight, and their RH. There could be different combinations of relative humidity and drying temperature for given species. Isotherm relationships, predicted based on seed oil content, are available online at the Kew Seed Information Database (SID) website (see references). Genebank operators should clearly understand the relationship between relative humidity and storage temperature to be able to decide about the best combination for their seed drying environment.
  • Standards and best practices for genebank management

    1. 1. Standards and best practices for genebank management<br />M. Ehsan Dulloo Ph.D.<br />Senior Scientist<br />Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation<br />Bioversity International, Rome, ITALY<br />Co-authors: Imke Thormann and Jan Engels (Bioversity) <br />Kakoli Ghosh (FAO)<br />European Plant Genetic Resources Conference 2011To Serve and Conserve<br /> <br />Wageningen, The Netherlands<br />5-7 April 2011<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br /><ul><li>Introduction
    3. 3. Historical context
    4. 4. Revision of genebank standards
    5. 5. Best practices
    6. 6. Summary</li></li></ul><li>State of ex situ conversation of plant genetic resources <br /><ul><li>Over 1750 genebanks exist world wide.
    7. 7. About 7.4 million germplasm accessions conserved in ex situ collections,
    8. 8. More than 70% of the genetic diversity of some 200-300 crops is already conserved in genebanks (SBSTTA, 2010)
    9. 9. Geographic distribution of genebanks with holdings of >10,000 accessions
    10. 10. Establishment of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a last resort safety back-up repository of genetic resources to safeguard humanity.
    11. 11. Source: WIEWS 2009; Country Reports; USDA-GRIN 2009, SOW2</li></li></ul><li>Brief historical context of genebank standards<br /><ul><li>Panel of Experts on Plant Exploration and Introduction (1975)
    12. 12. preferred and acceptable standard
    13. 13. IBPGR Advisory Committee on Seed Storage (1985)
    14. 14. integrity of plant genetic resources collections but also the safety of staff working in genebanks
    15. 15. FAO/IBPGR Experts Consultation Group on Genebank Standards (1992)
    16. 16. FAO/IPGRI Genebank Standards 1994 </li></li></ul><li>Process for revision of Genebank Standards 1<br /><ul><li>The CGRFA at its 12th session agreed on the need for revising the Genebank Standards and requested FAO in in cooperation with the ITPGRFA, CGIAR and other international institutions, to undertake this review
    17. 17. Bioversity and FAO prepared a first draft version together with GCDT, ITPGRFA and IPPC
    18. 18. Inputs sought from genebank experts
    19. 19. Expert consultation September 2010
    20. 20. Revision of first draft and production of ‘draft revised Genebank Standards’</li></li></ul><li>Process for revision of Genebank Standards 2<br /><ul><li>Further inputs sought and received from National Focal Points for CGRFA, ITPGRFA and ECPGR
    21. 21. Draft submitted for information to the 4th Governing Body of the ITPGRFA in Bali March 2011
    22. 22. Same draft to be considered by ITWG-PGRFA of the commission in April
    23. 23. Final draft will be considered at 13th session of CGRFA in July 2011 for endorsement</li></li></ul><li>Structure of draft revised Genebank Standard<br /><ul><li>Preamble
    24. 24. Introduction
    25. 25. Underlying principles
    26. 26. Standards for
    27. 27. Acquisition
    28. 28. Viability monitoring
    29. 29. Storage conditions
    30. 30. Regeneration
    31. 31. Characterization
    32. 32. Documentation
    33. 33. Distribution
    34. 34. Safety duplication
    35. 35. Security/personnel
    36. 36. Annexes</li></li></ul><li>Underlying principles<br /><ul><li>Identity of accessions
    37. 37. Maintenance of viability and genetic integrity
    38. 38. Maintenance of seed health
    39. 39. Physical security of collections
    40. 40. Availability and use of germplasm
    41. 41. Availability of information
    42. 42. Proactive management of genebanks </li></li></ul><li>What’s new and/or has changed? <br />1994 standards<br />Draft Revised standards<br />Definition of ‘standard’ <br />One standard –<br />The lowest level of performance of a routine genebank operation below which there is a high risk of losing genetic integrity<br />(e.g. a probability of 5% or more of losing an allele in an accession over the storage period) <br />Acceptable standards – in many cases minimal but adequate<br />Preferred standards – a higher and thus safer standard<br />
    43. 43. New standards for acquisition <br /><ul><li>All seed samples are acquired legally with technical documentation in line with Treaty
    44. 44. Have a minimum of associated data (FAO/IPGRI multi-crop passport descriptors)
    45. 45. Period between seed collecting and transfer is as short as possible.
    46. 46. Minimum size of a seed sample must capture 95 percent of alleles in the sampled population.</li></li></ul><li>New standards for characterization <br /><ul><li>Around 95 percent of accessions are characterized within five years of acquisition or the first regeneration cycle.
    47. 47. Characterization should be based on standardized internationally agreed descriptor lists and made publicly available.</li></li></ul><li>Drying conditions<br />Drying at 5‑20 °C and 15‑25 % RH <br />Drying at 10-25 ° C and 10-15 % RH<br /><ul><li>At a critical moisture level (CML), max longevity is attained and drying below this level does not increase seed longevity further
    48. 48. Studies have shown that lowering storage temperature increases the critical moisture level, which suggest dangers of overdrying seeds if we dry at lower RH
    49. 49. Various RH-temperature combinations for a given species. Important for genebank curators to clearly understand relationship to decide on best drying conditions.
    50. 50. Still uncertainty among scientific community about lowest CML – more scientific studies required </li></li></ul><li>Storage conditions<br /><ul><li>Acceptable: Sub-zero temperatures (<0°C) with 3-7% seed moisture content (depending upon species).
    51. 51. Preferred: - 18°C or cooler with 3-7% seed moisture content (depending upon species).
    52. 52. Use of any type of sealed moisture-proof containers
    53. 53. Long-term conditions : -18 ± 3°C (MOS & safety duplicates)
    54. 54. Medium-term conditions : under refrigeration at 5‑10°C.
    55. 55. All seed samples sealed in a suitable air-tight container in storage environment RH 15±3%.</li></li></ul><li>Viability monitoring<br /><ul><li>Conducted after cleaning and drying the accession or at the latest within 12 months after receipt of the sample at the genebank
    56. 56. Viability monitoring test set at 1/3 of time predicted fro viability to fall to 85% of initial viability
    57. 57. Germination should exceed 85% for most cereals & 75 % some vegetables and lower for some wild or forest species
    58. 58. Carried out at (or soon after) receipt and subsequently at intervals during storage.
    59. 59. Initial germination test should be carried out on a minimum of 200 seeds drawn at random from the accession
    60. 60. Germination should exceed 85% for most cereals & 75 % some vegetables and lower for some wild or forest species </li></li></ul><li>Regeneration <br /><ul><li>Viability drops below 85 % of the initial viability. The most-original-sample should be used to regenerate those accessions
    61. 61. The sample size of the accession to-be-regenerated contains a minimum number of plants which capture at least 95 percent of alleles with a minimum frequency of 0.05
    62. 62. Regenerated material should contain less than 1 percent of contamination
    63. 63. 50 seeds of MOS is archived in long term storage
    64. 64. Viability falls to 85% of the initial value.
    65. 65. It is desirable to use 100 plants or more for regeneration to avoid the probability of large losses of alleles.
    66. 66. seeds used to plant material for regeneration should be as close as possible genetically to the original germplasm</li></li></ul><li>Other standards in brief<br /><ul><li>Documentation:
    67. 67. Passport data of 100 percent of the accessions are documented, maintained in suitably designed databases and duplicate set maintained outside genebank
    68. 68. Distribution:
    69. 69. in compliance with national laws and relevant international treaties and conventions; at least 95% of seeds and information are made available
    70. 70. Safety duplication:
    71. 71. geographically distant area, under the same or better conditions than those in the original genebank
    72. 72. Security and personnel:
    73. 73. risk management strategy in place ;follow local Occupational Safety and Health protocols. </li></li></ul><li>Best Practices on genebankmanagement 1<br /><ul><li>Required for effective genebank management and are necessary to achieve the genebank standards
    74. 74. Should be harmonized among genebanks
    75. 75. Yet they are not easily available
    76. 76. Need for crop specific best practices
    77. 77. These were the reasons for the development of the </li></ul><br />
    78. 78. Best Practices on genebankmanagement 2<br /><ul><li>Nine crop specificbest practices
    79. 79. Regeneration guidelines for 21 crops
    80. 80. General procedures for genebank management
    81. 81. Strategies (e.g. genetic diversity, risk management, STOGS etc.)
    82. 82. Learning resources - extensive selection of publications, guidebooks, training manuals, photos, videos
    83. 83. Used as a training material for courses on genebank management</li></li></ul><li>Best Practices on genebankmanagement 3<br /><ul><li>CGKB developed within World Bank funded project, coordinated by SGRP
    84. 84. Collaborative effort with contributions from national and international genebanks and more than 100 individuals</li></ul>Some further developments:<br /><ul><li>New crop best practices (radish)
    85. 85. Updated plant collecting guidelines
    86. 86. Genebank documentation
    87. 87. Core collection procedures</li></li></ul><li>Summary<br /><ul><li>There has been a great increase in the number of genebanks world wide
    88. 88. Genebank standards are needed to ensure that genetic resources are maintained in the most effective and efficient manner across collections
    89. 89. Genebank standards need to be based on sound scientific findings
    90. 90. For many standards there is still lack of evidence – more research required
    91. 91. Genebank standards also needed for other ex situ collections (Field GB, in vitro, cryo and DNA banks)</li></li></ul><li>Best practices are needed to ensure that genebank standards are met.<br /><br />THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION <br />