Safe movement of tree germplasm

Collection, storage and handling 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 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 FAO/ International Plant Genetic's Research Institute (IPGRI) guidelines

The ever-increasing volume of germplasm exchanged internationally and advances in biotechnology, have prompted FAO and IPGRI to launch a joint programme for the safe and expeditious movement of crop plant germplasm.

The joint FAO/IPGRI programme has generated a series of technical guidelines that provide technical information on disease indexing and other procedures, helping researchers ensure phytosanitary safety and complementing phytosanitary regulations and mechanisms existing in countries concerned. 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, basic plant breeding programmes or conservation. When collecting germplasm, local plant quarantine procedures, for example pest risk assessment, should guide ultimate action.

FAO/IPGRI technical guidelines are based on discussions at meetings of panels of experts, in which participants have been selected in consultation with 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 plant breeding.

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 small quantities of germplasm. The second part covers the important pests and diseases of quarantine concern for the species in question.

In addition to domesticated trees as citrus (Citrus spp.), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), coconut (Coco nucifera) and stone fruit (Prunus spp.), the series covers three genera of particular importance to forestry: Eucalyptus, Acacia and Pinus:

Acacia
Old, K.M., T.K. Vercoe, R.B. Floyd, M.J. Wingfield, J. Roux and S. Naser. 2002. FAO/IPGRI Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Germplasm. No. 20. Acacia spp. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome/International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome.

Eucalyptus
Ciesla, W.M., M. Diekmann and C.A.J. Putter. 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.

Pinus
Diekmann, M., J.R. Sutherland, D.C. Nowell, F.J. Morales and G. Allard, editors. 2002. FAO/IPGRI Technical Guidelines for the Safe Movement of Germplasm. No. 21. Pinus spp. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome / International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome.
last updated:  Wednesday, April 25, 2007