The fifth meeting of the ECPGR Grain Legumes Working Group was held 7-8 May 2013 at Novi Sad, Serbia. The meeting was organized in collaboration with the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad (NS SEME), Serbia and took place before the First Legume Society Conference (LSC1) held 9-11 May 2013, Novi Sad.


The fifth meeting of the Working Group on Grain Legumes of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR) was held 7-8 May 2013 in Novi Sad, Serbia. It was organized in collaboration with the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad. Twenty-five participants from twenty-three countries attended the meeting. Highlights of the meeting were the AEGIS Quality system, the genebank standards, the central crop databases and the issue of sustaining the Working Group's momentum in the absence of future group meetings.

Regarding AEGIS, tasks were split among  the database managers of  Lens, Lupinus, Phaselous, Pisum and Vigna, who agreed to start identifying candidate accessions for inclusion into the European Collection, based on criteria ‘Country of origin’, ‘Sample status’ and ‘Accession name’. Results are expected in 4-6 months time.

The Genebank Standards for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, recently endorsed by the fourteenth regular session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, were presented and accepted by the Group as suitable for the AEGIS Quality System to be applied to grain legumes. It was suggested that more detailed standards be developed by the Group regarding the appropriate distance among plots during regeneration of self- and cross-pollinated grain legumes and the requirement to carry evaluation under low nitrogen conditions.  

Progress of the central crop databases was reported.  It was shown that in some cases the databases have an added value that is not offered by the EURISCO catalogue, such as a larger amount of data, including characterization data and pictures of the accessions.  

The future management of the Working Group was discussed with plans to involve a larger number of Working Group members to help share the responsibilities of maintaining a vibrant grain legume PGR focus within ECPGR and the wider community. Interest groups were created around the topics “Use of grain legumes in sustainable agricultural systems”, “Exchange of germplasm for evaluation in different environments” and “AEGIS Quality System development”. Crop-specific groups of interest were also established, with elected leaders who will coordinate the future Working Group’s activities crop by crop for Arachis, Cicer, Glycine, Lathyrus, Lens, Lupinus, Pisum,  Phaseolus, Vicia faba and Vigna with the support and guidance of the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Group plans to develop the Working Group’s web pages to include more information about members, institutes and genebanks and will also explore more social media outlets.

The Group welcomed the offer made by Mike Ambrose, UK to continue to chair the group for a brief transitional period, with the intention to mentor the potential successors during the upcoming transition phase during which ECPGR will change its mode of operation, while the Group will need to maintain its cohesion even without regular meetings. Gérard Duc, France, was reconfirmed as Vice-Chair.