Achievements and Awards

Achievements and awards

  1. ICRISAT genebank is one of the largest repositories in the CGIAR system, conserves over 123,900 accessions of six mandate crops and five small millets, for present and future utilization in improvement of mandate crops.

  2. The collection serves as an insurance against genetic erosion and the ICRISAT genebank restored 55,181 accessions to nine countries when national collections were lost.

  3. ICRISAT also established three regional genebanks at Niamey, Niger; Nairobi, Kenya and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to cater the research needs of NARS in Africa.

  4. The genebank safely duplicated over 110,000 accessions at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway.

  5. Passport and characterization data are international public goods (IPGs) and globally accessible through Genebank and Genesys.

  6. Developed mini core collections (1% of the entire collection), which are International Public Goods (IPGs) serving as a gateway to the large collections for enhanced use of genetic resources. 266 sets of mini core collection were sent to scientists in 36 countries and 105 sets to scientists in ICRISAT.

  7. ICRISAT genebank is a treasure trove of genes with several new sources for agronomic, adaptive and nutritional traits and tolerance/resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses.

  8. The genebank so far distributed more than 1.46 million seed samples to researchers in 148 countries.

  9. Trained NARS partners and prepared genebank manuals, catalogues, information bulletins, crop descriptors, presentations, web-based information, posters and pamphlets, journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, abstracts to popularize the need and procedures for conservation of plant genetic resources.

  10. Over 1000 varieties were released in 79 countries utilizing germplasm and breeding lines from ICRISAT genebank and 104 germplasm lines directly as 137 cultivars in 51 countries.

  11. Release of ICP 8863, a pigeonpea landrace with stable resistance for fusarium wilt as Maruthi in India has benefited US$ 75 million by 1996 with 73% internal rate of return.

  12. Release of ICP 9105, ICP 11916, and ICP 13829 pigeonpea germplasm in Venezuela reportedly solved the country’s major economic problem of importing soybean worth US$ 300 million annually.

  13. ICC 11879, a chickpea landrace released as variety in eight Mediterranean countries, ICP 7035, a pigeonpea landrace in India, China, Nepal, Philippines and Fiji and ICG 12991, a groundnut accession in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

  14. Scientists at ICRISAT genebank received several awards for their contributions in the field of plant genetic resources conservation, management and utilization.


Dr. H D Upadhyaya

  1. Dr. Harbhajan Singh Memorial Award 2015 for scientific excellence, leadership, outstanding contributions and great impact in the field of Plant Genetic Resources for the biennium 2013-2014.

  2. Member of the Crop Science Research Award Committee for two year starting from January 2015.

  3. Chair of the C451 Crop Science Research Award Committee for one year, from 01 Jan to 31 Dec, 2016.

  4. Director General (ICRISAT) Gold Medal Award 2014.

  5. Awarded International Service in Crop Science Award 2014 for outstanding service to Crop Science.

  6. Associate Editor Crop Science Journal.

  7. Plaque of Appreciation by Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Sciences, Hanoi (2014).

  8. Awarded Crop Science Research Award 2013 by the Crop Science Society of America for outstanding contributions to crop science research of global significance.

  9. Awarded Frank N Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources 2013 for outstanding contributions of global significance by the Crop Science Society of America, to the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources.

  10. Fellow of Crop Science Society of America (2009)  and American Society of Agronomy(2008)  in recognition of outstanding contributions for conceptualizing “mini core” to enhancing use of germplasm in crops breeding, and developing early-maturing groundnut cultivars for Asia and Africa.

  11. Honorary Fellow of Indian Society of Plant genetic Resources (ISPGR, 2012) for outstanding contributions to the field of Plant genetic Resources leading to significant growth in Agriculture.

  12. Chair of the Seed Science Award Committee of the Crop Science Society of the America (CSSA) for one-year term starting 1 January 2014.

  13. Member of Seed Science Award Committee of the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) for two years from January 1, 2013.

  14. Member of Fellows committees of “American Society of Agronomy” and “Crop Science Society of America” for two years (ASA from Jan 1, 2012 and (CSSA) from Jan 1, 2011).

  15. Twice Winner of “Exceptional Scientific Article in a High Impact Journal Award” for publishing “Draft genome sequence of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) provides a resource for trait improvement” in Nature Biotechnology 31:240-248 in 2013; “Draft genome sequence of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), an orphan legume crop of resource-poor farmers” in Nature Biotechnology in 2011.

  16. Thrice winner of outstanding article award for “Population genomic and genome-wide association studies of agroclimatic traits in sorghum.” In PNAS 110:453-458 in 2013; “Meiotic analysis of the hybrids between cultivated and synthetic tetraploid groundnuts” in Plant Breeding in 2012; “A mini core subset for capturing diversity and promoting utilization of chickpea genetic resources in crop improvement” in Theor. Appl.Genet. in 2002.

  17. CGIAR Outstanding Science Award 2006 for Outstanding Partnership of CGIAR Genebank Community.

  18. Member of the ICRISAT/ICARDA Chickpea Team, that won the 2002 King Baudouin Award and ICRISAT Sorghum (2004) and Chickpea Teams (2002) that won “Doreen Margaret Mashler Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement”.

  19. Twice Winner of “Doreen Mashler Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award” (2005, 2003) and “Millennium ICRISAT Outstanding Scientist Award” (2005, 2003) for outstanding contribution to strategies for enhanced use of germplasm in crop improvement and developing early-maturing groundnut cultivars for Asia and Africa.

  20. Member of team that won ICRISAT Resource Mobilizer Award 2005 and 2014.

  21. Members of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2003).

  22. Fellow of the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding (1999).


  1. Recognized as a Genebank innovator. 2013 Annual Report GCDT.

Safeguarding the future

We will continue assembling and conserving germplasm for filling gaps and adding diversity in the collection. Within the frame-work of the ITPGRFA, the genebank ensures that the assembled germplasm is maintained in a safe, secure and cost-effective manner and distributed to all bonafide users for utilization in crop improvement. The collections are maintained under long-term conditions, monitored regularly, and regenerated with appropriate plant population and pollination controls to ensure genetic integrity.