The first annual project meeting originally planned for 9-10 June 2020 in Pontecagnano, Italy, was replaced by a virtual meeting on 9 June 2020.
Twenty-two EVA Pepper network partners met virtually on 09 June 2020 to receive updates on current activities and discuss open questions and next steps for the project. A total of 250 pepper accessions are currently being multiplied by project partners in Italy and Serbia. Partners discussed strategies to comply with the new European Plant Health Regulation during the multiplication and distribution of seeds to evaluation partners inside and outside of the European Union, especially in light of emergency measures in place to prevent the introduction and spread of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV).
After a break, the network partners reviewed the proposed trial protocol and gave an overview of their evaluation sites. Genotyping options were discussed and an appropriate protocol will be further developed by an expert group in the network. Partners also reviewed a list of traits collated from the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and the EU Horizon2020 project G2P-SOL but agreed that, since not all evaluation partners were present at the meeting, preferences should be indicated during a survey and finalized in another meeting.
The EVA Pepper network made good progress in work planning and remains open for additional evaluation partners before starting evaluations of pepper accessions and landraces from European genebanks in 2021.