Genebanks conserve living plant samples of the world’s important crops and their wild relatives. They ensure that the genetic resources that underpin our food supply are both secure in the long term for future generations and available in the short term for use by farmers, plant breeders, and researchers. These collections are important to ensure that crop plants which may contain genes to resist disease, provide enhanced nutrition, or survive in changing or harsh environments do not become endangered or extinct over time. The genebank at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru maintains clonal and seed collections of potato, sweetpotato, and Andean roots and tubers (ARTC’s). The genebank is maintained as a global public good under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).  CIP’s germplasm is available for requestors for research, education, and breeding purposes. This germplasm has been used in breeding programs in over 100 countries. CIP is the custodian of the world’s largest in vitro genebank. Further, it houses one of the world’s leading herbarium collections and cryopreservation program.

CIP Genebank Management

Potato Collection

The gene bank at the International Potato Center (CIP) conserves around of 9K active accessions of potato among cultivated, improved, wild relatives and breeding lines.


Cryopreservation is an effective and efficient strategy for the long-term conservation of clonally propagated crops.


Currently, 84% of the in vitro potato accessions and 85% sweetpotato accessions are certified as virus-free.


CIP Genebank has around 8K accessions available for distribution.

Sweetpotato Collection

The gene bank at the International Potato Center (CIP) conserves around of 7.5K active accessions of sweetpotato among cultivated, improved, wild relatives and breeding lines.

In Vitro Active Collection

The CIP genebank is one of the largest in vitro genebanks in the world and contains the global collection of potato, sweetpotatoes and Andean root and tuber crops (ARTCs).

Safety Backup

The purpose of safety duplication is to maintain a copy of each accession in a form that is secure and 100% recoverable in the same condition and form as the active collection in case...

Andean Roots and Tubers Collection

The CIP genebank conserves around of 2.5K active accessions of Andean Roots and Tubers crops (ARTCs) (achira, ahipa, arracacha, maca, mashua, mauka, oca, ulluco, and yacon).

In Vitro Breeding Lines

CIP genebank also maintains and conserves an important collection of potato and sweetpotato breeding lines and genetic stocks in collaboration with the Roots, Tubers and Bananas CRP (RTB).


The Herbarium collection preserves dried herbarium specimens from the wild and cultivated species of potato, sweetpotato, and Andean Root and Tuber (ARTCs)...

CIP Genebank, preserving the biodiversity of roots and tubers

Origin of accessions conserved in the CIP Genebank