The idea for this publication was conceived during an expert consultation meeting in November 2002 in León, Spain, organized by IPGRI for the System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP). The meeting brought together scientists from different CGIAR centres, national agricultural research programmes, universities and the private sector. As a result of this meeting, IPGRI decided to conduct a survey on DNA banking among international and national plant genetic resources research institutes, botanical gardens, universities and the private sector, the results of which appear in this book. DNA banking is not widespread at present (fewer than 20% of the institutions responding to the survey bank DNA) but more than half of respondents expressed interest in banking DNA. Ten chapters consider several aspects including the use of DNA storage as a complementary conservation strategy, DNA banking of animal genetic resources, tissue collections, the role of bioinformatics, opportunities, and limitations and needs for DNA banks. A list of acronyms and abbreviations is included along with a list of contributors.
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