Direct involvement in the management of collections

Breeders in many countries contribute significantly to the tasks related to the day-to-day management of national collections by providing their services directly to genebanks without any compensation in return. These activities may include several elements such as helping in setting up of collections; evaluation, characterization, documentation of PGR; maintenance of collections etc.

Private collections

French breeders have been involved in the setting up of a number of private collections covering various crops such as Brassicas, sunflower, tomato, wheat, grasses, maize etc. Based on this work, for example, 1784 accessions of wheat and 533 accessions of maize PGRFA have been notified to the MLS.

French breeders also participate(d) in the collection of material and setting up of the cauliflower collection maintained at INRA, in Ploudaniel.


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Founded in 1965, PRO-MAÏS is a nonprofit breeders’ organization that aims at advancing the study and improving maize. 10 breeding companies are members of Pro-maïs.  PRO-MAIS's activity is twofold: (i) maintenance of maize genetic resources; (ii) research projects on maize genetic resources, on evaluation, management and methodology, on creation of new skills and resources for private breeders, etc.

Pro-maïs members in close collaboration with INRA have been active in maize genetic resources network in order to manage the genetic resources on long term perspectives. Based on this work, in 2009, Pro-maïs and INRA have notified a collection of 533 accessions of maize PGRFA to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.


Contact person for more information: Jean Beigbeder

Collection of hulled wheat varieties

A local little seed company (Prometeo, in the Region of Marche), specialized in hulled wheat, is growing a specific collection of hulled wheat varieties in cooperation with the public research institute of C.R.A. in Foggia.


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7 private breeding companies contribute directly as partners to the Czech National Program on PGR Conservation and Utilization and are responsible for maintenance and increase of crop collections (in co-operation with the gene bank), characterization, documentation, evaluation and regeneration of PGR. In vegetatively reproduced species, the institutes holding collections are responsible for a long-term conservation of plant genetic resources, as well. The Gene Bank in CRI Praha provides long-term storage of seed samples for all seed-propagated species as well as services of the National Information System on Plant Genetic Resources (EVIGEZ) for all co-operating institutions.

All information about genetic resources is in EVIGEZ (Plant Genetic Resources Documentation). All genetic resources in EVIGEZ are part of the Treaty’s Multilateral System.

The documentation system of EVIGEZ consists of three main data sets:

- Passport data

- Characterization and evaluation data

- Documentation of seed store in the Gene Bank

The information is held centrally in the Gene Bank of RICP Prague and partial information is stored also in crop specialized institutions, which co-operate within the Czech National Program on Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources and Agro-biodiversity.  


Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec


Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources

The Polish plant breeding industry is closely collaborating with public authorities in the conservation of plant genetic resources.

These activities are coordinated by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture with the participation of the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute; the Institute of Horticulture, the Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences and bigger private seed companies such as Poznan Plant Breeding, Smolice Plant Breeding, Strzelce Plant Breeding, Malopolska Plant Breeding and Danko Plant Breeding.

The activities cover one project for agricultural crops and another for horticultural crops.


Contact person for more information: Zofia Bulińska (coordinator of the National Programme for the protection of plant genetic resources)


Input in Kind to CGN

Dutch breeders support approximately 10-15 % of the budget of the Dutch gene bank through:


- taking care of seed multiplication, on the basis of protocols provided by CGN, from various vegetable species, like lettuce, spinach, allium species, peas, faba bean

- taking care of seed multiplication, on the basis of protocols provided by CGN, of field crops like maize.

- evaluation of (parts of) CGN collections to create more knowledge on the genetic resources in particular with regard to abiotic and biotic stress; this allows users to make more optimal use of the genetic resources.


Several breeding companies signed collaboration agreements with the Dutch gene bank CGN to formalize the above described collaboration and the intention to continue the collaboration in the future.


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In the past 25 years, various fodder grasses have been successfully evaluated in co-operation with the gene banks (perennial ryegrass, meadow fescue, smooth meadow grass etc.).

These research approaches have been devised as public-private-partnerships in which a set of grass genotypes is sent to be evaluated to several partners (plant breeders and research institutions). The results of the evaluation have been included in the descriptive database. 


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EVA project

Back in the mid 1990s, scientists and plant breeders jointly founded the German evaluation program EVA for barley and wheat. The program is designed to evaluate genotypes preserved in gene banks or used in research projects for disease resistance against a set of harmonized criteria.

The project has been coordinated by the Institute for Research in Resistance and Stress Tolerance of the Julius Kühn Institute in Quedlinburg.

The results will be published in a database that will be availablefor the use of scientists, plant breeders and the greater public.


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Whealbi project

Under the 7th Framework Program of the EU the Whealbi project (“Wheat and barley Legacy for Breeding Improvement”) was launched in 2014. One of the objectives of the project is to develop guidelines and protocols for Next Generation Valorization and Utilization of PGRFA collections.

There are some plant breeding companies involved in this project as project partners, one of which is an Italian seed company SIS, Società Italiana Sementi.


Contact person for more information: Gilles Charmet (Coordinateur du projet Whealbi, Unité de recherche "Génétique, diversité et écophysiologie des céréales")


National Collection

French breeders contribute to the long-term maintenance of the national collection of artichokes; further on, they participate in the French network of genetic resources regarding carrots, eggplant, tomato, melon, chicory, lettuce, onions and also to the MATREF network managed by GEVES. Through this participation they contribute to the maintenance of the national collections with activities relating to multiplication of material, evaluation, characterization and documentation.

They also take part in several professional associations and collaborate with public research institutes in projects focused on conservation, characterization, sustainable use and distribution of genetic resources.


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