Step-by-step guide to requesting accessions

15 August 2022

Want to learn how to request genebank accessions through Genesys? Check out our newest tutorial.

Many of the seeds (and other types of planting material) whose data is shared through Genesys are available on request from their holding genebank. When this is the case, Genesys relays requests for material to the genebank. Please keep in mind that most genebanks distribute small amounts for research and breeding purposes, and access is subject to legal and phytosanitary conditions.

Find accessions

There are many ways to find the crop diversity you are looking for in Genesys. You can conduct a basic search from the Genesys entry page, or an advanced search by filtering passport data, or you may find accessions of interest in subsets, and characterization and evaluation datasets. Read more about those here.

My List

When you know the accessions you wish to request, you need to add them to a list that Genesys calls My List, although it’s actually your list :) You can access the list from the main navigation bar.

You can use the Add multiple accessions button to populate your My List, for example by pasting a list of accession numbers from a spreadsheet:


Another approach is to populate your list while browsing Genesys.

Add accessions to your list

Whether you found accessions in the passport data browser or in subsets and trait datasets, the button you want to look for is + Add to My list on the far right of the accession description.


Alternatively, you can also use the Table view in the Accession browser to have a look at the complete passport data and maybe spot accessions of interest more easily. Select the accessions you want to add to My list by checking these boxes: 


Once you have added all the material that you want to get hold of to My List, you’re ready to initiate the request process.

Request accessions

Now that you have selected the accessions that you need for your research or breeding project, you can send a request to their holding genebank(s). Genesys allows you to request material held at different genebanks simultaneously, as described below. 

First, go to My list and hit “Request for material”.


Genesys will first check which of the accessions can be requested. The accessions that are highlighted in red are the ones you cannot request for in Genesys and they will be automatically excluded from the request. This is the case when either the genebank hasn’t enabled the option to receive requests for material though Genesys, or the accession is currently flagged as “unavailable for distribution”. But don’t panic. You may be able to find a similar accession held in another institute by using the Similarity Search function, and add those to your list instead. 

Alternatively you can contact the genebank directly. The genebank page in Genesys includes the “Show in FAO WIEWS database” link to the respective FAO WIEWS record with genebank contact information.


Follow all the steps in the menu box and fill out all required fields. Please flag your request as Internal if you are requesting material from your own institute. Internal requests do not require a material transfer agreement and they are not linked with Easy-SMTA.

Confirm your order

After submitting your request, you will be sent an email with a verification key in order to validate and confirm the order. Please follow all the steps listed in this confirmation email. Only after successfully completing these steps will your request be relayed from Genesys to the holding institute(s).


Genebank accessions are unlike anything else you order online. Access is subject to legal and phytosanitary conditions, in addition to genebank distribution policies. Most genebanks distribute small amounts, and only for research purposes. 

After receiving your request, the genebanks will get in touch with you directly for further details, including import and phytosanitary requirements, material transfer agreement, etc.

Possible claims and complaints related to germplasm requests should be addressed to the specific institute concerned, and not to Genesys, which is just a go-between. You can find the contact information of the holding institutes in our data provider directory, FAO WIEWS database or any of the Internet search engines.

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