Genebank details

Bioversity International Musa Germplasm Transit Centre

Bioversity’s collection of bananas and plantains and their wild relatives (Musa species) is kept at the International Transit Centre (ITC) at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. The banana collection – with more than 1500 accessions – is the largest in the world. About 75% are traditional varieties or landraces and 15% are wild relatives. The remaining 10% is largely breeding and research material.

In the 30 years since it was established, the ITC has distributed more than 17,000 samples to 109 countries.

Accessions are kept in-vitro, as 20 shoot cultures in continuous light at 16°C. They are subcultured each year, and after several years of maintenance the tissue cultures are replaced with new material grown in the greenhouse and checked for genetic integrity. This prevents the accumulation of changes that can occur in plants kept in tissue culture for long periods of time.

Accessions are also cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. This stops both the growth of plant cells and all biological deterioration, so accessions can be preserved indefinitely and resuscitated into fully viable banana plants. As further insurance, a safety duplicate set of cryopreserved material is being deposited for safe-keeping at the French research institute for development (IRD) in Montpellier, France.

The ITC is also a global hub for the safe movement of Musa germplasm around the world. It has a system for indexing accessions for the presence of viruses and has researched protocols for cleaning up infected accessions. Only accessions that are tested virus free – currently 65% of the collection – are distributed, and work continues to ensure the entire collection is available for distribution.

Bioversity also maintains the Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS) with access to information from 24 national banana collections and morphological and molecular data on many of its accessions.

Location
Latitude
50.52
Longitude
4.42
Most represented Crops
banana
Not specified
4
Most represented Crop names
Banana
1,600
ENSETE
4
Most represented Genera
Musa
Ensete
Most represented Species
Musa aab
Musa aa
Musa aaa
Musa abb
Musa sp.
Other
340
Last updates of passport data
12 November 2019
Passport Data Completeness Index (PDCI)
Genesys uses the PDCI as an indicator of the completeness of published passport data. The PDCI uses the presence or absence of data points in the documentation of a genebank accession, taking into account the presence or value of other data points (van Hintum et al. 2011). For example, a wild accession should have a well-defined collection site but no variety name. The PDCI ranges from 0 to 10, where 0 is the minimum score assigned to rather incomplete passport records and 10 is the maximum score assigned to very complete passport records. Any type of accession, wild, landrace, breeding material or modern variety, can attain the PDCI’s maximal score.
Number of passport records
700
525
350
175
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Passport Data Completeness Index (PDCI)
Average PDCI score for 1,604 accessions is 6.22, with minimum score of 3.65 and maximum score of 9.40.