The potato collection is being maintained at CGN since 1995 (see history). It consists of wild and Andean cultivated potato species.
Background and availability of the collection are described. Passport and evaluation data are downloadable. Passport data of those accessions that received a CGN accession number can be searched on-line. The species list is sorted per taxonomic series and includes pictures and general info on Endosperm Balance Number, chromosome number, region of origin, altitude range. Furthermore addresses and web sites of major potato genebanks, inventories, literature references as well as links to some other potato sites are provided. Results and partners (incl. several European potato variety collections) of the EU project RESGEN - CT95 - 34/45 (1996-2000) are listed here.
The former Dutch (WAC) and German (EBS) collections comprise 40% of the current accessions. They include 94 accessions of cultivated potato species collected 1955 by Toxopeus during the Dutch Expedition to Peru, as well as 77 accessions of 28 wild species collected 1959 by Ross and Rimpau during the German Andes Expedition to Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Data cards from WAC 1-953 are available as PDF (see Potato links). The collection was substantially expanded with material from the Argentine genebank INTA-Balcarce. The INTA material accounts for 24% of the collection. Including the expeditions from Ross & Rimpau and Toxopeus, 26% of the collection originates directly from collecting expeditions with Dutch or German participation. More information about collecting expeditions including mission reports, collecting forms and background information is here available. Seed exchange with other genebanks has taken place too. Furthermore material was received from universities active in the field of potato taxonomy.
The accessible collection contains about 1350 accessions of 107 wild species and 120 accessions of 4 primitive (or traditional Andean cultivated) species originating from 12 countries in South and North America. Some seed samples from the expeditions may not be viable. Therefore it will be attempted to regenerate them, before these accessions are included in the overview.
A safety duplicate, containing a multiplication sample (à 200 seeds) and at least 250 seeds from the bulk, is being kept in a storage facility of IPK-Gatersleben, on the peninsula Poel, Germany. Earlier (1981), potato samples were exchanged with the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC). 770 samples have been received and about 570 samples were sent to Scotland then. Since February 2008 most of the accessions were triplicated at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which was donated by Norway to the international community and is being supported by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by over 150 governments at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The CBD became effective as international law on 29 December 1993. More information on the CBD and its international implementation is available at www.cbd.int. The current Dutch policy concerning access and benefit sharing related to genetic resources can be viewed at the web-site CBD Focal Point, under the button 'policies'. Furthermore, several of your questions may have been answered under the button 'Frequently asked questions'. The EU also provides info on Access and Benefits Sharing to support the CBD.
The International Treaty on PGRFA (Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture) was approved 3 November 2001 by the Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which entered into force on 29 June 2004 (www.planttreaty.org). It revises the International Undertaking (1983) to promote international harmony for access to PGR for food and agriculture. It provides a framework to ensure access to PGR and to related knowledge, technologies, and internationally agreed funding. Collection holders (genebanks) have to determine which part of their accessions will be put into the multilateral system. They are free to make also other crops available under the terms and conditions of the international Standard Material Transfer Agreement (like CGN did). To receive material that has been put into the multilateral system or was made available under these terms and conditions, the recipient has to sign the Standard Material Transfer Agreement. The illustrated version can be downloaded from the IT website.
The Nagoya Protocol on ABS (Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization) was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and entered into force on 12 October 2014. It supplements the CBD and will create greater legal certainty and transparency for providers and users of PGR. In the framework of this protocol CGN intends to become a "Trusted collection". More information: About the protocol (at CBD.int), the EU regulation for implementation within the EU, about the EU regulation at the Dutch ABS focal point website, fact sheet (incl. concerns) from Dutch plant breeders organization Plantum (in Dutch).
The Global Crop Diversity Trust is prioritizing the Annex 1 crops of the International Treaty and developed Regional as well as Crop Strategies for the conservation of the germplasm.
Peru has the highest diversity for potato genetic resources, but it is still under represented in collections because Peru has been too dangerous for intensive collecting for a period of about 15 years, due to terrorist activities.
Next to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Peru is member of the Andean Pact. The Andean Pact adopted Decision 391 on a "Common Regime on Access to Genetic Resources", a procedurally complex law, which entered into force mid-1996. The material collected in Peru 1999 was transformed into true seed at CIP-Huancayo. This germplasm was blocked for distribution after Peruvian authorities declared the collecting mission for illegal, because the wrong ministry signed the collecting permission. USDA and CIP are encouraged to re-negociate an export permission for the 1999 collected germplasm. CGN was no partner in the 5 year collecting agreement 1998-2002.
Spring 2010 a new law on genetic resources has passed the Peruvian parliament, implementing the CBD and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The administrative barriers for the exchange of germplasm, as experienced in the Bioversity study on the diversity of Capsicum landraces in Peru and Bolivia (pers. comm. M. van Zonneveld), gives little hope for a medium term solution for the "illegal" collected wild potato accessions (in 1999). CIP has negotiated with INIA to make this germplasm accessible.