INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

Instytut Hodowli I Aklimayzacji Roslin - Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy

The Plant Breeding and Acclimatisation Institute (IHAR) - National Research Institute is the largest Polish research centre in the multi-disciplinary area of crop improvement, biotechnology, germplasm conservation and enhancement. The current mission of IHAR is to develop theoretical principles and research methodologies related to germplasm conservation, enhancement and utilisation in breeding of field crops; seed science and seed production; collection and preservation of plant germplasm resources for breeding and research programmes. The research agenda is focused on the identification of genetic sources of important agronomic traits, studies on their genetic control and methods of utilisation, research on the mechanisms controlling crop resistance to diseases, pests and environmental stresses, application of biotechnological methods in plant breeding and gene transformation. An important element of the IHAR-PIB organisational structure is the National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources i.e. polish gene bank. It serves as the National Coordinator for the Plant Genetic Resources Programme, with the objective of conserving genetic variability of crop plants endangered by genetic erosion in Poland. Collecting missions to less agriculturally developed regions of Eastern Poland are traditionally carried out every year to safeguard existing regional diversity of local landraces and old varieties of crop plants. The programme is supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and is financed from the state budget. Its implementation involves cooperation of several institutions. These institutions are entrusted with the task of curating specific crop collections, as well as collecting, characterising and evaluating the accessions. The centre maintains a central database for all genetic resources collections and provides storage facilities within a controlled environment.


  • collection of populations and cultivated varieties of crop and wild plants threatened with genetic erosion
  • description and evaluation of collected materials
  • maintenance of seed samples and clones in viable state and in genetic purity
  • documentation of collected materials, exchange of samples with other gene banks and botanical gardens worldwide
  • providing initial plant materials for breeding and research programmes

NCPGR is the second the largest gene bank in EU.

Role within INCREASE

IHAR is involved in various work packages of the project:

  • Work package 1 (Tasks: 1.2, 1.3, 1.7).
  • Work package 2: participation in the „definition of phenotypic traits” (Tasks: 2.2, 2.3, 2.6).
  • Work package 3: collaboration in sampling and assembly of collections and provision of seed material from gene bank (SMTA) – (Tasks: 3.1, 3.2).
  • Work package 4: conduction of field trials with common bean and lupin genotypes subjected to agronomic and morphological traits evaluation: in 3 locations for 2 years with 3 replications (Tasks: 4.2, 4.3, 4.4).
  • Work package 6: co-creation of guidelines for conservation management, including the development of long-term and active conservation of lupin; germplasm management and connection between in situ/on farm and ex situ collections (Tasks: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4).
  • Work package 7: communication and dissemination activities related to the results of INCREASE by our genebank.

Main contacts

Photo of Dr Denise F. Dostatny
Dr Denise F. Dostatny
Research Scientist at IHAR- PIB/ plant genetic resources of old cultivated plant species and CWR & head of the collecting team of the National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources (NCPGR)
Photo of Dr Wiesław Podyma
Dr Wiesław Podyma
Research Scientist at IHAR- PIB/ plant genetic resources & head of the National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources (NCPGR)
Photo of Dr Grzegorz Gryziak
Dr Grzegorz Gryziak
Research Scientist at IHAR- PIB/ plant genetic resources & head of long-term storage laboratory
Photo of Dr Lech Boros
Dr Lech Boros
Research Scientist at IHAR- PIB/ plant genetic resources, breeding, agronomy
Photo of Anna Wawer MSc
Anna Wawer MSc
Specialist at IHAR-PIB/ plant genetic resources, agronomy