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Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Genetic Resources

Size of collections and their locations

Data from WIEWS, Genesys and a survey conducted in 2021 indicated a total of over 40,501  Helianthus acessions conserved in genebanks at the global level. The interactive bubble map below shows the combined data retrieved in 2023 from Genesys and WIEWS databases. 

Key collections

The table below shows an overview of the composite dataset of Helianthus plant genetic resources conserved ex situ, including the data source, FAO code, region where institute located, total number of accessions, number of accessions for select species and CWRs, and number of species described for each institute. Only collections with 100 or more accessions are shown. Data is from open databases (Genesys and WIEWS) and a survey conducted in 2021. 

Safety Duplication

The chart below shows the number of institutions that had 0-25%, 26-50%, 51-75%, and 75-100% of accessions that require urgent regeneration for the cultivated and wild H. annuus and the CWRs. Source: 2021 survey.

Crop Wild Relatives

The chart below shows the total number of accessions for each Helianthus taxa conserved ex situ and the number of institutions conserving them.


The chart below shows how accession-level data are shared by respondents to the survey (n = 27). Source: 2021 survey.

Helianthus accessions conserved ex situ by regions where they are stored

The bars show the number of accessions of cultivated and wild Helianthus species by regions where they are stored (i.e. the location of the genebanks). 

Ex situ holding by biological type

The chart shows the number of Helianthus accessions by biological type. For a large proportion of accessions conserved in genebanks the passport data in the open databases do not include information on the biological type of the accessions. The data was retrieved in 2023 from Genesys, WIEWS and GRIN-Global databases. 

Sunflower on Genesys

This map shows the origin (site of collection) of Helianthus 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 Heliathus accessions recorded in Genesys

Recommendations for priority actions

Recommended actions and priorities:

  • Establish a global international advisory group for the engagement of key collection holders and main users of sunflower genetic resources, and to lead the implementation of agreed priority activities. 
  • Establish a partnership among North American countries and address collection gaps for cultivated landraces and CWR.
  • Safety backup of cultivated and CWR accessions
  • Rationalize the global sunflower collection and increase the accessibility of genetic diversity from CWR, landraces, and open-pollinated varieties.
  • Hold a consultation to discuss the future needs for conservation and use with key representatives of the users.

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.


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