The IBPGR In Vitro Conservation Data Bases
At the beginning of the present decade, the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) became aware of the considerable potential for the application of in vitro technology in plant genetic conservation. However, it was clear that this potential was under-exploited (Withers 1980; Withers and Williams 1982). There was a lack of published research on basic techniques and little liaison between tissue culturists and conservation workers. Before any future work could be directed appropriately, there was a need for a state of the art review of current research. To this end, IBPGR supported a survey by questionnaire of institutes working on tissue culture techniques with particular reference to genetic conservation. Information was sought on IBPGR priority crops such as staple roots and tubers, tropical and temperate fruits, and palms with respect to clonal propagation, research problems, characterization, storage and in vitro exchange. The survey showed that much valuable information, especially on storage techniques and biological problems encountered in research, was left unpublished. The results were published in report format (Withers 1982).
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