We are responsible of preserving, conserving, characterizing, documenting, collecting, investigating and monitoring the diversity and variability of native and naturalized plants and their wild relatives for agricultural and forestry use through ex situ and in situ conservation at the national level allowing for their exploitation and sustainable use for the socio-economic benefit of the Peruvian population.


The functions of the Area of Agricultural and Forestry Plant Genetic Resources are the following:

  • To preserve the germplasm of plant genetic resources, agricultural and forestry, and their wild relatives in the long-term in ex situ conditions at the National Germplasm Bank maintained by INIA.
  • To conserve agricultural and forestry plant genetic resources and their wild relatives in agroecosystems and surrounding ecosystems in collaboration with local peoples and other local partners, valuing associated traditional knowledge (in situ conservation).
  • Inventory, collection and monitoring of the biological and genetic diversity of plant genetic resources and their wild relatives for a better understanding of their conservation status using geographic information systems and different diversity indicators.
  • To estimate genetic erosion of plant genetic resources, and their wild relatives, and identify contributing factors.
  • To develop and implement retribution mechanisms for ecosystem services and other conservation methodologies that strengthen the conservation of in situ and ex situ plant genetic resources of native and naturalized species and their wild relatives.
  • To support and promote the identification of promising genetic material to be made available to plant breeders, farmers and other users linked to agriculture.


Most accessions are maintained in the Bank in the field. Here are conserved annual species of clonal reproduction, perennial species of clonal reproduction and species of reproduction by recalcitrant seed. In this area, technologies of agronomic management, rooting, pruning and plantation systems are generated in native species such as camu-camu Myrciaria dubia, chrimoyo Annona cherimola, cat’s claw Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis, among others. To perform the morphological characterization and the agronomic evaluation, descriptors are used, which can be developed in the SDRG for the case of native species or descriptors published by Bioversity International (formerly IPGRI). INIA’s (own) descriptors are elaborated by the curator or responsible for each collection.

Additionally, in conjunction with the universities and the International Potato Center (CIP), descriptors of Andean roots and tubers have been developed, and with other national and international institutions descriptors for cassava too.

It consists of collections of seeds, which are cleaned, selected, dried and stored in suitable containers and kept under controlled temperature conditions, with low moisture content. It aims to contribute to the preservation of the diversity and variability of the seeds of cultivated plants that are part of the Germplasm Bank of INIA, maintaining viable a replica of security, to attend to user requirements (researchers, breeders, farmers, students, among others).

It has an adequate infrastructure consisting of an equipped laboratory, drying room and cold room, currently conserves 64 species and 3,800 accessions. It also supports the conservation of seeds of new plant varieties from the area of breeders of new plant varieties, as well as the varieties obtained by INIA.

It is constituted mainly by clones of the collections of roots and Andean and tropical tubers. These are maintained under 3 different temperature conditions: 12oC, 18oC and 24oC. These in vitro cultured accessions are currently maintained as a backup. In addition, this bank also generates the technologies for the development of means of conservation of crops. On the other hand, studies of phytosanitary cleaning of materials in vitro are being developed.


The research topics of the area are:


  • Strategies for collecting germplasm.
  • Installation of germplasm collections in the field.
  • Development of morphological descriptors
  • Morphological characterization using morphological descriptors.
  • Agronomic evaluation and identification of promising accessions.


  • Strategies for the conservation of orthodox and intermediate seeds, depending on the behavior of seeds against cold storage, of domesticated species and their wild relatives.
  • Strategies for evaluating the viability, regeneration and multiplication of germplasm through botanical seed in a way that reduces the effects of gene drift and artificial selection.


  • Strategies for the conservation, regeneration and multiplication of germplasm through clonal propagation by micro-cuttings, organogenesis, among other techniques.


Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a basic food in the diet of 17.8 million people in the world. In Latin America there are viral diseases that affect the cultivation of cassava, seriously affecting its yield and quality. The vegetative propagation of this crop by cuttings and the indiscriminate exchange of germplasm material constitute a risk because it is possible to spread the virus; having as negative consequences the transmission of virus from an infected plant to a healthy one and the accumulation of different viruses in a plant from one generation to the next, which can lead to the degeneration of the plant. In Peru, there is no history of virus studies in this cultivar, despite the fact that cassava is an important food in the country’s diet and is a significant source of income for farmers in several regions such as Amazonas, Ucayali, Huánuco, Madre de Dios, Junín, Lima, Ancash, San Martin, Pasco and La Libertad. Therefore, the present project aims to identify the viruses that affect cassava cultivation in the INIA germplasm bank and in farmers’ fields in the Loreto, Ucayali and Lima regions, and thus have a knowledge of the diversity of viruses that are affecting this cultivar to help establish an adequate management of its control both in the Germplasm Bank (in vitro) and in the field (in situ).

Collaborators: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

The Peruvian Andes are rich in plant biodiversity of the genus Solanum. The current list contains 276 species, 253 native and 23 introduced and / or cultivated. Some of these species are hosts of Phytopththora infestans and Ralstonia solanacearum constituting primary sources of inoculum in the epidemiological cycle of the diseases they cause. The study of the genetic structure of the populations of these pathogens, would help to explain the changes in the severity of the observed disease, the development of strategies for the management of the disease and the detection of resistance to fungicides. Rapid identification of genotypes during cultivation will provide recommendations to farmers for the proper management of diseases. To this end, it is of vital importance to strengthen INIA’s capacities to carry out a continuous monitoring of the pathogens present in farmers’ fields.

Collaborators: International Potato Center CIP.

Viruses are a limiting factor in vegetative propagation crops. Control of viruses is achieved by eradicating them in the material that will be used for their propagation or by using resistant varieties. Very little is known about the viruses that affect the Andean roots like oca, mashua, ulluco and yacon. The present project seeks to find a reliable diagnostic method based on molecular biology techniques to determine the presence of phytopathogenic viruses in the in vitro collections preserved by the International Potato Center (IPC) and the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) ), in order to be able to distribute and repatriate virus-free germplasm.

Collaborators: International Potato Center CIP

The Oca is an Andean tuber used as a source of carbohydrates and has been threatened by socioeconomic factors that have resulted in a decrease in the number of varieties conserved in the farmers´ communities of the Andean region. This crop is grown mainly for self-consumption but there is interest in developing processed products such as chips and jams as well as other products with higher added value. This work aims to ensure the long-term conservation of the Oca as a contribution to the country’s food security through the strategy of ex situ conservation. For a proper conservation and use of this collection, it is necessary first to improve the conservation conditions of this genetic material, ensuring its quality and integrity, having passport information and morphological and molecular characterization to promote its use in research and innovation. This project aims to generate knowledge regarding the genetic diversity of the Oca, which will allow decisions regarding its conservation and future research needs, thus contributing to the food security of Andean families.

Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.), a species native to the humid tropical rainforests of South America, has a wide genetic diversity. Peru is one of the main centers of cacao origin, with a high diversity and verifiable genetic variability in the different populations, native races or ecotypes of cacao that are located in several areas of the country, such as the “Porcelana de Piura” breeds, and “National of Peru”. The Peruvian Amazon is home to a great genetic diversity of cocoa, among which are varieties with organoleptic characteristics typical of high quality fine cocoa. One of these varieties is the native one, an aromatic cocoa that, along with other “criollo” cocoa, is attracting interest in international markets, due to its high quality. The importance of these native cacaos as a plant genetic resource is strategic for the country, being considered the base and point of departure for genetic improvement programs. The exploration, collection, characterization, evaluation, conservation and use justify efforts and resources to ensure the provision of guaranteed genetic material inputs for the recovery, rehabilitation and establishment of new areas. The great variability of the cocoa that has spread in the country, as well as its undesirable crossbreeding, has jeopardized the genetic purity of native materials. It is pertinent to preserve the genetic variability and characteristics of native cocoa, for use in pre-breeding and breeding programs (genetic improvement). Cocoa is a source of substances with very diverse and proven applications in terms of functional foods, medicine and cosmetics. The project aims to generate information on geographic distribution, establish a germplasm bank with representative samples of wild populations of the Loreto region, identify superior genetic material and conservation and sustainable use in breeding programs.

The native Capsicum (pepper and rocoto) is the fourth vegetable most sown in Peru (after corn, asparagus and green pea) and Peru has the greatest diversity of chilli cultivated in the world, but mostly these are constituted by materials kept by small producers that do not reach national or international markets. The new demands of gastronomy, agribusiness, international markets, the search for molecules with functional activity, among others, requires efforts to search and consolidate information on the genetic resources of Capsicum. The project aims to form a National Germplasm Collection of the genus Capsicum from Peru, consolidating the collections of INIA and UNALM in a database that integrates morphological, genetic, physicochemical and culinary information. With the consolidation of both collections and the integrated database, state-of-the-art information will be available to preserve and enhance the genetic resources of Capsicum, to develop new processes and products and to contribute to the development of value chains for local biodiversity, improve agrarian activities and its influence on living conditions in the rural sector, and the positioning of Peru in the international context. To develop the project, INIA and UNALM will establish joint working mechanisms to integrate the work of specialists in genetic resources, biotechnology, physical-chemical, biostatistics and culinary analyzes, operating in experimental and farmer fields in 4 regions of Peru and laboratories in Peru and Belgium. The project is based on existing information, thanks to a project involving INIA (Bioversity, Fincyt) and UNALM (VLIR), as well as other institutions in the country and abroad.

In grape cultivation, the observed problem is the low productivity, that with average technology gives yields in the Ica region of 7,500 kg / ha to 8,500 kg / ha. However, the potential of the crop is over 10,000 kg / ha. Until the year 1993, the Experimental Station “The Poor” of Ica, had a germplasm bank of grapes, which was the main source of materials of the crop for the different zones of the valley. Later on, this Experimental Station passed to the ownership of a company particularly dedicated to another crop, so these valuable genetic materials were lost. In the EEA-Chincha, since 2005 to date, research is carried out by the National research Program on Fruit trees and a project was carried out to produce grape plants, in which they collected virus-free materials. As a result, a nursery with mesh serves to propagate seedlings but that is insufficient in terms of production, since to date there is unsatisfied demand for producers of seedlings and patterns guaranteed of genetic quality. From 2012 in the EE-Chincha, the Program of Genetic Resources on grape has transplanted seedlings to final field of 19 cultivars, initiating the formation of a vine germplasm bank. The objective of the present project is to have the greatest diversity of germplasm at the national level and then to propagate materials with good phytosanitary quality and information available to nurseries dedicated to the production of grape plants. The methodology is to have all materials at the National level, through the collection of materials from all grape-growing areas (07 regions of Peru), perform the characterization, agronomic evaluation according to a descriptor and biochemical analysis with the support of CITEVID, in order to have the documentation and to make available high quality materials to the users in general.

The main cherimoya producing areas in Peru are in the departments of Cajamarca, Lima, Huánuco, Apurímac, Piura and Ayacucho, with only the “Cumbe” coming from Huarochirí as one of the improved varieties that can produce from April to August. However, thanks to our agroclimatic conditions in the inter-Andean valleys and with proper management of irrigation, pruning and manual pollination, this fruit can be harvested all year round.

Given this situation, it has been proposed to introduce and adapt 07 selected biotypes of the INIA national germplasm collection by installing an experiment in 03 agroecological production zones in the Ayacucho region. The factors of production, fruit quality, tolerance to pests and diseases will be evaluated, according to the environmental conditions of each zone.

Puno Region, is the Center of Origin of quinoa, therefore, is the center of biodiversity (wild species, native and modern varieties). In addition, the national collection of quinoa at Illpa conserves 2124 accessions, with a broad genetic base and adaptive potential to the most adverse conditions of the Altiplano.

The characterization and evaluation of the accessions will facilitate the identification of the accessions more resistant to the agricultural frosts and prolonged droughts, that is to say, natural selection of the plants by winter factors, being necessary to start the selection of winter quinoa with the promising accessions.

The present project aims to take advantage of the germplasm with direct participation of the farmers in their fields of cultivation, applying the INIA technology of irrigation. The methodology to be used will be shared with the producers and will involve professionals from INIA, DRAP (Puno´s local government), in all research activities, giving them shared responsibilities.

The project is part of an initiative called “Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives”, that the Crop Diversity Trust and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, are working in collaboration with national institutes, the International Advisory Group for Agricultural Research Centers and other specialized institutions.




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