Rwanda National Genebank
A Genebank is a physical infrastructures consisting of a set of buildings serving for the short-term and long-term conservation of the living samples of the diversity of genetic resources,including plants, animal breeds, forest genetic resources and microbes and wild relatives of crops. The Rwanda National Genebank (RNGB) construction works started in 2008 and its activities started later 2012 with a mandate of conserving and promoting the sustainable utilization of plant, forest, animal and beneficial microbial genetic resources through their collection, characterization, conservation and documentation. Two main strategies are used in conservation of different genetic resources; ex situ conservation where germplasm is stored in seed banks or in field genebanks and in situ conservation where germplasm is maintained in its natural habitat. Following picture show RNGB building. RNGB is carrying out ex situ conservation for orthodox seeds (maize, wheat, rice, bean, …) and ex situ conservation of field genebank for vegetatively propagated plants, non orthodox seed producing plants and plants that require a long life cycle to generate breeding/planting materials in collaboration of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) programs. Ex situ conservation for orthodox seeds consists of exploration of germplasm to collect, acquisition of germplasm which includes registration, seed drying and storage, viability monitoring, regeneration, characterization, evaluation, documentation, distribution and safety duplication. The genebank has two types of coldrooms; the 5oC for active or medium term storage and -20oC for long term conservation. Currently the genebank conserves accessions of sorghum, maize, soybean,indigenous vegetables, beans, cowpea, rice, peas, groundnut, sunflower, finger millet and wheat. In collaboration with RAB research programs, the genebank is also carrying out the conservation of field genebanks of banana, coffee, tea, sweet potato, cassava, Irish potato, mulberry, fruit trees and forestry species. Ex situ conservation of field genebank consists of choice of location, acquisition of germplasm, establishment of ﬁeld collections, ﬁeld management, regeneration and propagation, characterization, evaluation, documentation, distribution and safety duplication.The following picture presents some of the accessions conserved in active storage.Also in collaboration of livestock program, Rwanda national Genebank is initiating collection and conservation of Inyambo semen, conservation of local livestock Inyambo and endangered local inkungu livestock. In future, RNGB will collect and conserve beneficial microbial genetic resources (mushroom mycelium, rhizobia); conserve small stock animal genetic resources (goats, pigs, chicken, sheep), and conserve forestry genetic resources starting with endangered varieties/ species. The genebank will continue to enrich its existing plant genetic resources accessions through collection and conservation of different plant genetic resources.