ABS Biodiscovery case in Belarus

ABS Biodiscovery case in Belarus

Research and development of potato genetic resources for increased fertility and food security.

Belarus, through the Institute of Genetic and Cytology (ICG) of Belarus has invested in research and development of three Belarusian potato lines, which were transferred to the Potato Genebank of the US Department of Agriculture in 1997. The transfer was made in accordance to basic principles of the Nagoya Protocol and authorized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the republic.

One of these potato lines has been improved to increase fertility and the other two will act as “messengers” to facilitate interspecies hybridization of wild and cultivated potato species. The importance of these two lines as a breeding tool for the creation of new commercial potato varieties can be a significant step forward since currently hybridization between wild and cultivated potatoes remains a challenge for plant breeders. This tool can unlock a great potential for food security.

Initially, a non-commercial research agreement was established between the parties based on Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) for the joint use of the concerned genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use, such as scientific collaboration and joint publication of research results, in line with the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol.

The USA Potato Genebank will also share genetic materials with Belarus and this has been envisaged as a modality for benefit sharing. Additional forms of benefit sharing include co-authoring scientific publications and filing joint intellectual property applications for products resulting from the research on the potato genetic resources from Belarus.

Learn more on this biodiscovery case here.

View more on Belarus biodiversity here.

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