AGPS - Publications

Plant Production and Protection Division - AGP

Seed and Plant Genetic Resources Service - AGPS


We have published a number of codes of conduct, manuals and technical guidelines including most recently:

World List of Seed Sources - Liste mondiale de sources de semences - Lista mundial de fuentes de semillas
Fourth edition, 1996 FAO Rome 623p. ISBN 92-5-003782-1.
Eight thousand addresses of private and public sector institutions dealing in seed production and processing in over 150 countries are listed, with a specification of all the crops being handled by each institution.

Seed Review 1989-90
1994 FAO Rome 543p. ISBN 92-5-103608-X
This publication contains worldwide information on seeds and seed technologies including varietal improvement and development; variety evaluation, registration and release; quality control; production; processing; storage; marketing and distribution; promotion; research and training. The information has been compiled from official FAO questionnaires sent to member countries. In total 86 countries returned the questionnaires: 27 from Africa, 20 from Asia, 12 from North and Central America, 10 from South America, 13 from Europe and 4 from Oceania.

International Code of Conduct for plant germplasm collection and transfer
1994. 20 pages. ISBN 92-5-103571-7
The Code aims to promote the rational collection and sustainable use of genetic resources, to prevent genetic erosion and to protect the interests of both donors and collectors of germplasm. Its primary function is as a point of reference until individual countries establish their own codes or regulations for germplasm exploration and collection, conservation, exchange and use. The Code was adopted by the FAO Conference at its 27th session in November 1993. Available in hard copy and on disc.

Quality Declared Seed: Technical guidelines for standards and procedures
1993 FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 117 ISBN 92-5-103278-5. Available in English, French and Spanish.
This publication illustrates the seed quality control system developed by FAO to improve the quality of seed being offered for sale in countries where human and physical resources for quality control are limited. Guidelines are given for cereals, food legumes, oil crops, forage crops, forage legumes, industrial crops and vegetable crops.

Technical guidelines for field variety trials
1993 FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 75 ISSN 0259-2517. Available in English, French and Spanish.
This publication includes information for planning, managing and analysing field variety trials.


  • Abridged version of seed potato micropropagation and multiplication. A video programme with printed commentary. Produced in three versions (English, French and Spanish), this video has been developed by AGPS in collaboration with the Danish Institute of National Plant Pathology and R.A.T. George, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bath, UK.

  • Techniques for micropropagation and multiplication of disease indexed seed potatoes. A video programme with printed commentary. Produced in three versions (English, French and Spanish). Micropropagation, sub-culturing and multiplication, media preparation and testing procedures for bacterial ring spot, potato spindle tuber viroid, inoculation, agglutination, elisa and electron microscope are illustrated and discussed.

  • Technical guideline on seed processing technology. A video programme with printed commentary, in English. A detailed description and illustration of the practical use of the most important equipment for quality seed processing.

  • Laboratory techniques for seed testing. A video programme with printed commentary, in three versions (English, French and Spanish). Produced by AGPS in collaboration with the French National Institute for Agronomic Research, La Miniere, it describes testing procedures related to laboratory techniques for seed quality control and seed health.

  • Seed Review 1994-95 Official information on national seed sectors provided by member countries is being compiled. It will be an updated version of the FAO Seed Review 1989-90.

    In collaboration with other institutions:

    The Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter

    A joint FAO/IPGRI publication, published quarterly. Deals with the genetic resources of useful plants, resulting from new work, historical study, review and criticism in genetic studies, ethnobotanical and ecogeographical surveying, herbarium studies, collecting, characterization and evaluation, documentation, conservation and genebank practices. English, French and Spanish.

    Collecting Plant Genetic Diversity: Technical guidelines:
    L. Guarino, V. Ramanatha Rao and R. Reid (editors)
    1995. CAB International (Ed.), Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, United Kingdom.748 pages. ISBN 0-85198-964-0.
    In recent years it has become evident that there is no single publication that provides the prospective collector of plant germplasm with generic as well as specific, and theoretical as well as practical, information. It was to fill this gap that IPGRI, together with FAO, IUCN and UNEP, cooperated to produce this book. It is a comprehensive reference work aimed at both new and experienced collectors as well as those with a general interest in plant genetics, breeding and biodiversity. Hard copy.

    Genebank Standards
    1994. 13 pages. ISBN 92-9043-236-5
    FAO and IBPGR (now IPGRI) have been cooperating since the early 1970s to strengthen national capabilities in ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources. In 1991, the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources said it was "essential that appropriate standards be developed for genebanks operating within the international Network". The Commission asked for assessment and, if necessary, redefinition of genebank standards. Subsequently, an FAO/IBPGR Expert Consultation was convened in 1992 to discuss and update the genebank that IBPGR published in 1985. The Genebank Standards recommended by the Expert Consultation were then endorsed by the 5th Session of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources which said they should be widely used as the international reference in national, regional and international genebanks. The Genebank Standards are concerned solely with the storage of seed of orthodox species. Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish versions available in hard copy.

    Other relevant publication sites :[FAO][IPGRI]

    For further information please contact Messrs. Menini, Anishetty, AGPS.

    Go to the FAO Home Page or to the FAO Agriculture Home Page.