BACKGROUND TO THE FAO/IPGRI GUIDELINES
Collecting, conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources and their global distribution are essential components of international crop and tree improvement programmes. Inevitably, the movement of germplasm involves a risk of accidentally introducing plant pests along with the host plant. In particular, pathogens that are often symptomless, such as viruses, pose a special risk. In order to manage this risk, effective testing (indexing) procedures are required to ensure that distributed material is free of pests that are of quarantine concern.
The ever-increasing volume of germplasm exchanged internationally for research purposes, coupled with recent advances in biotechnology, has created a pressing need for specific overviews of the existing knowledge in all disciplines relating to the phytosanitary safety of germplasm transfer. This has prompted FAO and IPGRI to launch a collaborative programme for the safe and expeditious movement of germplasm, reflecting the complementarity of their mandates with regard to the safe movement of germplasm. FAO, as the depository of the International Plant Protection Convention of 1951, has a long-standing mandate to assist its member governments to strengthen their plant quarantine services, while IPGRI's mandate - inter alia - is to further the collecting, conservation and use of the genetic diversity of useful plants for the benefit of people throughout the world.
The purpose of the joint FAO/IPGRI programme is to generate a series of technical guidelines that provide relevant information on disease indexing and other procedures that will help to ensure phytosanitary safety when germplasm is moved internationally. The scope of the recommendations in these guidelines is confined to small, specialized consignments used in technical crop and tree improvement programmes, e.g. for research and basic plant breeding programmes. When collecting germplasm, local plant quarantine procedures, for example pest risk assessment, should be considered.
These technical guidelines are produced by meetings of panels of experts on the species concerned, who have been selected in consultation with the relevant specialized institutions and research centres. The experts contribute to the elaboration of the guidelines in their private capacities and do not represent the organizations for whom they work. The guidelines are intended as best possible advice to institutions involved in germplasm exchange for research, conservation and basic plant breeding.
The Guidelines series has recently been extended to important forest genera or species. Since 10 million ha of eucalypts were planted in the tropics and subtropics in forest plantations in the period 1981-90, or nearly one quarter of the gross area, this genus was selected as the first to be included in the Guidelines series.
REPORT ON THE FAO/IPGRI EXPERT MEETING ON GUIDELINES FOR THE SAFE MOVEMENT OF EUCALYPTUS GERMPLASM
Eighteen experts attended the meeting, which was funded by ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research). It was organized by the ASEAN Forest Tree Seed Centre and was held in Bangkok from 9-12 October 1995. The following papers were presented to the meeting:
The Eucalyptus spp. guidelines have been published separately from the report of the meeting. The guidelines are written in a short, concise style, in order to keep the volume of the document to a minimum and to facilitate updating. The guidelines are divided into two parts. The first part makes general recommendations on how best to move germplasm, including technical recommendations (on movement of seed, in vitro material, rooted cuttings and pollen) and recommendations related to international movement of germplasm. The second part covers the important pests and diseases of quarantine concern for Eucalyptus. The information given on a particular pest or disease may not be exhaustive but concentrates on those aspects that are most relevant to quarantine. Detailed descriptions, often with colour photographs, have been provided for key insect pests and diseases (viral, phytoplasma, bacterial and fungal). The full citation is:
Ciesla, W.M., Diekmann, M., and Putter, C.A.J. 1996. FAO/IPGRI Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Germplasm. No 17. Eucalyptus spp. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome/International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome.
Copies are available from:
DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES FOR THE TRANSFER OF GERMPLASM OF OTHER TREE GENERA