Genetic resources

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The most diverse maize and wheat collection

CIMMYT manages humanity’s most diverse maize and wheat collections. It starts with the seed. CIMMYT’s germplasm bank, also known as a seed bank, is at the center of CIMMYT’s crop-breeding research. This remarkable, living catalog of genetic diversity contains over 28,000 unique seed collections of maize and 150,000 samples of wheat.

From its breeding programs, CIMMYT sends half a million seed packages to 800 partners in over 100 countries every year. With researchers and farmers, the center also develops and promotes more productive and precise maize and wheat farming methods and tools that save money and resources such as soil, water and fertilizer.

Related research, conservation and utilization are supported by three units: Seed Health, Biometrics & Statistics and Data Management. Finally, the Seeds of Discovery (SeeD) project analyzes and documents maize and wheat biodiversity and facilitates its use in crop breeding to address current and future production challenges (more info).

Harnessing genetic resources for the nutrition and well-being of current and future generations.
Harnessing genetic resources for the nutrition and well-being of current and future generations.

CIMMYT’s germplasm research aims to

  • Conserve, characterize, distribute and use genetic resources.
  • Safely distribute seed.
  • Promote scientific stewardship and ensure open access to CIMMYT’s data and derived information.
  • Create quality, open-source software.
  • Develop and validate new tools and methods for gene mining and crop improvement.
  • Build capacity in all the above areas.

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