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Genebank

Conserving & sharing genetic diversity

Genebanks conserve living samples of the world’s huge diversity of crop varieties and their wild relatives. They ensure that the genetic resources that underpin our food supply are both secure in the long term and available for use by farmers, plant breeders, and researchers.

CIP is the custodian of the world’s largest in vitro genebank, and is the first to obtain International Standards Organization (ISO) accreditation for safe and secure germplasm movement. The genebank maintains clonal and seed collections and houses one of the world’s leading herbarium collections.

Maintained as a global public good under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, CIP’s germplasm is available for free to developing countries. It is used in breeding programs in over 100 countries.


  • The genebank holds over 80% of the world’s native potato and sweetpotato cultivars

  • CIP’s earthquake-proof genebank features state-of-the-art conservation chambers and associated facilities

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