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This FAQ is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to our Genebank. For further questions, please feel free to contact us.

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What browsers can be used to view the Genebank Website?

Our website is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, as of April 2009. Compatibility with Mozilla Firefox 3, Safari 3 (both Windows versions) and others have also been checked. However, if using an older browser or environment with Javascript disabled, some functions may not be available.

Distribution of biological genetic resources

What kind of materials does your Genebank distribute? Is a fee charged for all materials? Can someone apply for distribution for a purpose other than research or education? Are there any restrictions regarding distribution?

Our Genebank distributes biological genetic resources related to agriculture to users for the purpose of research (including breeding) or education. Biological genetic resources which can be retrieved using the “Database” are available for distribution. In principle, a fee is charged, but in some cases there may be no charge. Please refer to Article 6 of the Administrative Regulations for Biological Genetic Resources in the NIAS Genebank Project. It is possible for any adult to apply for distribution. However, we will not distribute resources for hobbies such as gardening; in such cases, please use commercial products. In addition, there are some regulations restricting distribution. Please refer to Article 7 of the Regulations.

(Plant Genetic Resources)
We distribute rice, wheat and barley, legumes, root and tuber crops, millets, other cereals, industrial crops, grasses and forage crops, fruit trees, vegetables, ornamental flowers and trees, tea, mulberry, tropical and subtropical crops, etc. in the form of seeds, vegetative part (root and tuber crops, grafts or seedlings of fruit trees), or culture. For details, please search for plant genetic resources.

(Microorganism Genetic Resources)
We distribute bacteria, fungi, yeasts, actinomycetes, plant viruses, bacteriophages, insect and animal viruses, phytoplasma, viroid nematodes, protozoa, etc. in the form of vacuum-freeze dried ampoule or slant culture. For details, please search for microorganism genetic resources.

(DNA, etc.)
We distribute DNA, etc. which are the main bodies of genes of rice and swine. For details, please refer to “Stocks available at DNA Bank.”

I need just a part of the varieties included in the NIAS Core Collection.

Regarding the NIAS Core Collection, only the complete set of varieties specified will be distributed.

How can I check the inventory quantity?

(Plant Genetic Resources)
Seeds can be checked on the database. If the database shows the seed is “available”, it is in stock. As for vegetative materials (root and tuber crops, or grafts and seedlings of fruit trees), even if the database shows “available”, it takes time to check the availability because the distribution season is limited. We will check the availability on request. Please make your request by fax, etc. after filling in and signing the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources” and “Material Transfer Agreement.” We will inform you if there is any problem such as unavailability.

(Microorganism Genetic Resources)
The microorganism genetic resources which can be viewed on the database are all available for distribution. However, shipment may take time due to the inspection for distribution or the resource may be unavailable due to quality degradation. We will check the availability on request. Please send your request by fax, etc. after filling in and signing the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources” and “Material Transfer Agreement.” We will inform you if there is any problem such as unavailability.

(DNA, etc.)
The DNA, etc. which can be viewed on the database are all distributable. However, distribution may not be possible due to quality degradation. We will check the availability on request. Please send your request by fax, etc. after filling in and signing the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources” and “Material Transfer Agreement.” We will inform you if there is any problem such as unavailability.

What is the status of the distribution procedure?

First, the applicant chooses the necessary material from our “Database Search” of the respective Biological Genetic Resources Department, fills in the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources,” signs the “Material Transfer Agreement,” and then sends them by fax, etc. to the Genetic Resource Management Section. (The import permit and/or the phytosanitary certificate might be necessary for importing genetic resources depending on countries. In that case, please get them from your government before ordering, and then indicate them on your order form.) Please transfer money to the designated account specified in the invoice which we will send you after confirming that the biological genetic resource can be distributed. (Payment must be made in advance, although there is no deadline for payment nor penalty interest.) The material will be shipped when preparations are complete and payment has been confirmed.
After completing your research, etc., please promptly submit the “Report on Research Result.” In addition, if you publish the results of research that used our biological genetic resources, please send us a copy of the research paper, documents, etc. If you change any of the items written on the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources,” please submit the “Notice of Changes” in advance. For more details, refer to the “Distribution Procedure” of the respective Biological Genetic Resources Department (refer to DNA Distribution for DNA Department).

How do I fill in the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources”?

Please fill in the columns, from application date to implementation period, each time you apply. Please write the applicant's phone number, fax number, or e-mail for our reference. Applicants who have applied for the distribution of biological genetic resources are given a user number; leave this blank if you do not know your number.
The head of your affiliation, who should be the president, dean, professor, or associate professor in a university; director-general or director of department, division or section in a public research institute or equivalent organization; president, director of research department or equivalent person, is required to sign and seal the form. If you are applying as an individual, the signature and seal of the head person is not necessary.
We ask you to write the research purpose merely to check that the distributed biological genetic resource will be used for research or education, so a detailed description of the research is not necessary. The implementation period should be a maximum of five years. If the actual implementation exceeds the period you described on the Application for Distribution form, please submit a “Notice of Changes.”

How about a bill?

We will send a bill (single original, dated and signed) for advanced payment, immediately after we confirm that the biological genetic resource you are applying for can be distributed. Accordingly, we can not notify you of the date of issue in advance. In principle, the bill will be addressed to your organization (excluding section, division, and department), and you can add other details by yourself in the margin. When you specify the addressee, please note it in the margin of the “Application for Distribution of Biological Genetic Resources,” though we can not leave the addressee open. Please note that you can not cancel your application after payment, although you can cancel even after you have received the bill.