The ECPGR Secretariat has submitted on 23 November 2011 the proposal “Access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Europe” (in short Plant Gene Access) [please click here for full proposal]
The proposal was submitted in reply to a call of the 7th EU Framework Programme: INFRA-2012-1.1.10. Plant Genetic Resources Centres. The total number of collaborating partner institutes in the proposal is 34 and the requested contribution from the EC is 10 million Euro. This project aims at integrating and facilitating access to the key European research infrastructures for holding genetic resources from crops and wild plants.
Abstract of the proposal
Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) provide the raw material for plant breeding and thus form the basis for adaptation to increasing and changing needs of food supply. In Europe, approximately 2 million samples of PGRFA are conserved in approximately 625 collections, representing approximately one third of the global resources conserved ex situ. These PGRFA represent enormous value for research and breeding purposes, deserve to be managed at the highest level and be made easily accessible. However, European genebanks currently have variable, and sometimes insufficient, capacity to properly maintain their material and to distribute it to interested users.
This Project aims at providing free and prompt access to the European Collection and to its most relevant accompanying information. The European Collection will be composed of important and genetically unique material maintained at high standards, including currently under-represented and endangered crop wild relatives, genetic stocks, mutant collections and other scientific populations.
To create a truly integrated and sustainable European genebank system, a number of networking actions are foreseen, including the formulation of technical and operational standards, the creation of a quality system and the optimisation of the data flow from the collection holders to the potential PGRFA users. Activities to increase the value of the collections by facilitating their genotyping and phenotyping are also planned. Furthermore, a strong research component is aimed at finding innovative solutions to address current gaps and obstacles in the efficient management and use of the European Collection.
The potential for innovation through the use of the Collection is ensured by a direct link with the breeding industry.
The overall objective of this Project is: To create improved access to PGRFA material and accompanying information through a network of conservation organisations and associated databases.