The Bioversity International Musa Germplasm Transit Centre (ITC) is home to the world’s largest collection of banana germplasm. Its mission is to contribute to the secure long-term conservation of the entire banana genepool and hold the collection in trust for the benefit of future generations under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. The conserved germplasm is placed in the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit Sharing of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The collection, which contains more than 1,500 accessions of edible and wild species of banana, is hosted at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and is considered the richest source of banana (Musa) diversity globally. The accessions are kept in vitro under slow growth conditions at 16°C.