Genetic Resources Center, NARO


The Genetic Resources Center was re-established as a new organization under the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) as part of the integration of 4 national research agencies in April 2016. In addition to the evaluation, preservation, collection and distribution of genetic resources of plants, microorganisms, and animals, and coordination of the Genebank Project, the Genetic Resources Center, NARO (NGRC) aims to pursue advanced research on genetic resources as its mission.

The utilization of valuable genetic resources is indispensable in the development of new breeding materials that can be used to overcome potential damage to crops due diseases and pests, and therefore facilitate improving food productivity. In particular, there is a possibility that the old varieties that are no longer cultivated at present, may possess many important agronomic traits such as resistance to diseases that may have been lost in modern varieties. As a guarantee for research in the future, we need to make sure that these old and valuable varieties are preserved because once they are lost, it is almost impossible to retrieve these resources.

With the integration of the Genetic Resources Center into NARO, we are promoting the conservation of genetic resources in cooperation with research organizations in NARO, universities and other agricultural experimental stations to ensure that our descendants will have access to valuable materials indispensable in achieving sustainable food production in the future. We are also pursuing the exploration of genetic resources overseas, and an exploration team is dispatched in Southeast Asian countries every year to collect old varieties and germplasm in collaboration with the local research institutes. Currently, NGRC has one of the largest collection of genetic resources in the world including approximately 220,000 accessions of plant genetic resources, 30,000 microbial accessions, and 2,000 animal accessions, which can be accessed for distribution both domestically and overseas for research and educational purposes.

In the midst of global warming, many major problems that has never occurred before such as severe damage due to diseases or high-temperature may pose a serious to agricultural production in the very near future. In order to develop varieties that can overcome these obstacles, the availability of genetic resources will play a key role in the success of breeding to develop novel varieties. We will continue to strive to effectively respond to this challenge by enhancing a wide range of genetic resources.

In particular, the introduction of overseas genetic resources would require establishing a relationship of trust with the partner countries. Through our joint research and collaborations on genetic resources over the years, we have built a good relationship of trust with the corresponding institutions in many Southeast Asian countries. We will strive hard to promote the utilization of genetic resources through continuous research collaborations in the future.

Thank you very much for your cooperation and we look forward to your continuous support in the future.

Hiroshi KATO
Genetic Resources Center, NARO

Corporate Number 7050005005207