Skip to content

Global Strategy for the Conservation of Potato

Global collections of potato

Data from WIEWS, and the survey with Genebanks holding potato germplasm indicated a total of over 80,000 Potato acessions conserved in genebanks at the global level. 

Key collections

Six genebanks conserve about 50% of potato germplasm (Table below). The total number of accessions and percentage of wild species (W), landraces (L), improved varieties (V) and breeding lines (B) is provided for each collection.

Ex situ approaches

The figure shows Potato ex situ storage approaches applied by 32 potato collection holders participating in the survey. Percentages in brackets describes the estimated proportion of the collection maintained under each storage condition. For the backup repositories, the country and percentage of collections located outside the respective institute are indicated in brackets. *Numbers provided by the institution where the backup repository is located.

Crop Wild Relatives

The largest wild potato species (applying Spooner et al. (2014)) collections are maintained by CIP (PER001; 95 species), USA (USA004; 79 species), Russia (RUS001; 70 species), Germany (DEU159; 66 species) and the Netherlands (NLD037; 60 species). The species with the largest number of accessions are Solanum brevicaule Bitter (1,896 accessions), Solanum acaule Bitter (1,491 accessions) and Solanum stoloniferum Schltdl. (1,255 accessions).


The table below shows IUCN Red List categories of priority Solanum section Petota crop wild relatives (, accessed on 21st April 2020). Priority Solanum crop wild relatives according to Vincent et al. (2013) are indicated by **. LC, least concern species; EN, endangered species; NT, near threatened; VU, vulnerable species; DD, data deficient.


Potato germplasm data

Digitalization and availability of passport, characterization and evaluation data in potato germplasm collections. Responses of 32 survey participants.

Ex situ holding by biological type

The map shows the number and biological type of potato accessions listed for each institute contributing to the survey. In addition, institutes listed in the World Information and Early Warning System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (WIEWS) having > 150 accessions are shown.

Potato diversity tree

A diversity tree is a stratification of a genepool into groups and subgroups. The concept originated in a paper published by van Treuren et al. (2009) proposing a way to analyze and plan the composition of genebank collections. The diversity tree visualization is interactive (click on the tree to open it). 

Potato on Genesys PGR portal

This map shows the origin (site of collection) of Potato (Solanum tuberosum) accessions recorded in Genesys PGR portal. Only accessions that have coordinate data of the site of collection are shown. Click on the map to diplay the list of Potato accessions recorded in Genesys

Recommendations for priority actions

  • Comprehensive genotyping of ex situ and in situ collections
  • Harmonization of potato taxonomy
  • Documentation and monitoring of in situ populations and traditional landraces maintained on farm in American countries
  • Capacity building for in situ conservation and improved strategic concepts for on farm conservation
  • Collecting missions and linkage between in situ/on farm and ex situ conservation
  • Capacity building to maintain high quality ex situ collections, in particular in Latin American countries
  • Cryopreservation is needed to ensure long-term survival of potato genetic resources
  • Further digitalization, better linkage and visibility of publicly available data for ex situ and in situ conservation management
  • Accessibility of collections for breeding and use
  • Networking and training

Partners and donor

The development of this crop conservation strategy was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as part of the three-year project led by the Crop Trust: Breathing New Life into the Global Crop Conservation Strategies: Providing an Evidence Base for the Global System of Ex Situ Conservation of Crop Diversity. The Crop Trust also cooperated with the Secretariat of The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in the development of this document.


Scroll to top