Genebank details

International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas

ICARDA holds almost 150,000 accessions, largely of its mandate crops – barley, wheat, food legumes, forage legumes and temperate range species – and 1,400 strains of the Rhizobium bacteria that enable legumes to fix nitrogen. About 21% of accessions are wild relatives, which are likely to become increasingly important as sources of the genetic diversity needed to cope with challenges such as climate change. More than 65% are traditional varieties or landraces.

Researchers at ICARDA and in the global community use the genebank accessions in research and to develop new, improved varieties. Over the past decade, the genebank distributed more than 200,000 samples to 65 countries.

Scientists at ICARDA have pioneered a new approach to the discovery of valuable genetic traits, known as Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy. FIGS improves the use of genetic resources by pre-selecting those accessions that are most likely to contain the traits of interest to solve a particular breeding challenge, such as tolerance to heat or resistance to a specific disease because they were collected where those stresses are prevalent.

The genebank was established in 1983, at ICARDA’s headquarters in Aleppo, Syria. Even before the unrest in Syria, the genebank had begun to store safety duplicates of its collections not only at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault but also at collaborating genebanks around the world. The value of these duplicate collections became obvious when the Syrian uprising threatened the very existence of the genebank.

In late 2015, ICARDA started to retrieve many of its accessions from Svalbard to be restored in new genebank facilities in Lebanon and Morocco. For ICARDA’s efforts in protecting the genebank and its accessions, the Gregor Mendel Foundation awarded the genebank its Gregor Mendel Innovation Prize in March 2015.

Location
Latitude
33.88
Longitude
35.5
Most represented Crops
wheat
forages
barley
chickpea
lentil
Other
16,166
Not specified
260
Most represented Crop names
Wheat
43,920
Forages
33,446
Barley
32,790
Chickpea
15,749
Lentil
14,597
Other
16,167
Not specified
260
Most represented Genera
Triticum
Hordeum
Vicia
Cicer
Lens
Other
38,457
Not specified
12
Most represented Species
Hordeum vulgare
Triticum turgidum
Triticum aestivum
Cicer arietinum
Lens culinaris
Other
61,557
Last updates of passport data
10 March 2020
9 March 2020
5 March 2020
23 January 2020
22 January 2020
21 January 2020
20 January 2020
14 January 2020
9 January 2020
8 January 2020
7 January 2020
5 January 2020
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
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Passport Data Completeness Index (PDCI)
Average PDCI score for 156,929 accessions is 7.28, with minimum score of 1.85 and maximum score of 10.00.