Plant Genetic Resources

Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) and their Importance to Global Agriculture

Plant Genetic Resources provide basic material for selection and improvement through breeding to ensure food security needs of the world’s rapidly rising population. Conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources are important activities of genebank. Management of ex situ collections requires creative and adaptive decisions tailored to operating conditions that are specific and continuously changing. The establishment of large, crop-genepool-specific collections at ICRISAT genebank, Patancheru, India, was based on donations from existing collections and on targeted collection efforts. Majority of the conserved accessions are of orthodox seed producing nature. The conserved germplasm has been characterized for important morpho-agronomic characters and germplasm seed samples distributed to bonafide researchers for utilization in crop improvement programs all over the world. Genetic variation, once considered unlimited is fast eroding necessitating its conservation before it is lost forever, to combat new pests and diseases that emerge from time to time, and to produce varieties better adapted to changing climatic and environmental conditions and have better nutritional quality. To this end, we, at the ICRISAT genebank are engaged in the assembly, conservation, maintenance characterization, evaluation, documentation, and distribution of germplasm for research and development.