New member of the Executive Committee (full list availablehere) Ms Beate Schierscher-Viret from Switzerland replaced Mr Marc Lateur as of 1 March 2020, representing "the West region" in a broad sense.
New National Coordinators(full list availablehere)
Greece: Ms Anna Foulidi, from the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, replaced Ms Chara Christodoulou as of 10 February 2020.
Spain: Mr Jose Antonio Sobrino Maté, from the Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, replaced Mr Luis Guasch as of 6 February 2020.
Turkey: Mr. Gökhan Kizilci, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, replaced Ms Lerzan Gül Aykas as of 23 March 2020.
Working Group Chairs(list of Chairs for Phase X availablehere) Wheat Working Group: the current Chair, François Balfourier will retire in June. He will be replaced by Albrecht Serfling starting 1 June 2020.
Working Group members The lists are updated continuously
March 2020• EVA Lettuce Project: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting originally planned for 30-31 March 2020 in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy, was replaced by a virtual meeting on 30 March 2020. Seebelow
February 2020•Fifteenth meeting of the Executive Committee, 26-27 February 2020, Svalbard, Norway (back-to-back with the Svalbard Seed Vault Anniversary)(seeabove) Webpage
•Meeting of the Grant Scheme Activity "Testing, Use and Alignment of genetic data to distinguish unique and characterized accessions in Prunus (Prunus Alignment)", 18 February 2020, Athens, Greece. The meeting report is available online Webpage
January 2020•First meeting of the Berries Working Group, 14-16 January 2020, Dresden, Germany. The agenda, list of participants, presentations and a summary of the meeting are available online. The full meeting report is in preparation. Webpage
Upcoming ECPGR meetings
!Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several meetings are being rescheduled or replaced by virtual meetings. The information below is up-to-date at time of publication (7 April). For further updates, please check our Future meetings webpage
May 2020•EVA Wheat and Barley Project Meeting, 5-6 May 2020, Gatersleben, Germany - now virtual meeting on 5 May
• EVA Carrot Project Meeting, 13-14 May 2020, Angers, France - virtual meeting, date to be determined
• Allium Working Group Meeting, 26-27 May 2020, Skierniewice, Poland - postponed, dates to be determined
. • EVA Maize Project Meeting, 27-28 May 2020, Paris, France - now virtual meeting on 27 May
June 2020•Solanaceae Working Group meeting, 8-9 June 2020, Pontecagnano, Italy - this meeting was to be held back-to-back with the EVA Pepper Project Meeting (below). Since it cannot be replaced by a virtual meeting, it will be postponed to a later date, possibly again in conjunction with an EVA pepper project meeting.
•EVA Pepper Project Meeting, 9-10 June 2020, Pontecagnano, Italy - virtual meeting on 9 June 2020
July 2020•Meeting of the Grant Scheme Activity "Enhancing quality and quantity of Vitis genetic resources in AEGIS (AEG-VIT-IS)", 2-3 July 2020, Alcalá de Henares, Spain - meeting tentatively postponed to September/October, date to be determined
November 202016th (Mid-term) Steering Committee meeting, 24-27 November 2020, Padua, Italy (back-to-back with GenRes Bridge meeting)
2021 - date to be definedMeeting of the Grant Scheme Activity "Updated MORPHological dEscriptors for Avena Species (UMORPHEAS)": the meeting, originally planned for 19-20 March 2020 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, was cancelled and the start of the Activity was postponed to January 2021.
• STARGATE (Sensors and daTA towards high-performance Agri-food systems) was recently approved. This is a coordination and support action, coordinated by Marta Vasconcelos, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal. The project is focused on ‘phenotyping’ and the EURISCO Coordinator has been contacted to maintain an open dialogue.
• Greenbooster (Boosting Genetic Resources Approaches and Tools for Future Plant Pre-Breeding Needs) - coordinated by Alain Charcosset, INRAE, France.
• SpectraGenRes (Multispectral image analysis to characterize and evaluate seeds of legume genetic resources) - coordinated by Fiona Hay, Aarhus University, Denmark.
The European Collection
Further to the latest addition of 118 accessions by Romania, the total number of European Accessions is now 56 928.
EURISCO development Re-engineering of the EURISCO import/update mechanism is under way.
Participation in H2020 projects Involvement in AGENT, and in the proposals for GREENBOOSTER and SpectraGenRes (see above)
Dissemination of information •EURISCO Newsletter no. 9 (December 2019) has been released
The Newsletter and previous issues are available from the EURISCO website (section EURISCO Documents) and from the "News" posted on ECPGR website.
You can also click on image to access file directly.
• Presentations on EURISCO were given at the following meetings:
- First Meeting of the ECPGR Berries Working Group, 14-15 January 2020, Dresden, Germany.
- Ad hoc action meeting of the European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources (ERFP): "Development of specifications for a modern gene bank documentation software (CryoWEB 2.0)", 11-12 March 2020, Madrid, Spain (meeting held in videoconference due to COVID-19 pandemic).
EURISCO National Focal Points Training Workshop The workshop, originally planned to be held 18-21 May 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, was postponed to September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (dates to be confirmed). Webpage
European Evaluation Network – EVA
The EVA network activities are picking up speed. All networks are still recruiting additional partners, which will help in increasing the number of evaluation sites and thus the diversity of environments in which European genebank accessions are being evaluated. Accessions are already being multiplied for the first rounds of evaluations for the EVA networks on wheat and barley as well as on pepper.
Project meetings for partners to agree on their relevant project plans have been scheduled for all networks in the beginning of 2020. However, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic they will be substituted by virtual meetings with the hope that in-person meetings can be held later in the year.
EVA Lettuce Project meeting, 30 March 2020 The first virtual meeting to substitute for an in-person project meeting originally planned in Salsomaggiore, Italy, was held on 30 March 2020 on MS Teams. Sixteen project partners joined the online meeting and contributed to animated discussions on how to advance the EVA Lettuce project. Massimiliano Beretta (ISI Sementi, Italy), who volunteered to help leading the lettuce consortium, proposed several adjustments to the original project proposal, to streamline the experiment and create valuable data for the network partners. Two breeding companies agreed to evaluating Bremia resistance on 50 accessions in duplicate laboratory tests. Discussions on traits for field evaluations of up to 150 lettuce accessions were not finalized and will continue within the project team.
Despite the limitations of having these important discussions online instead of face-to-face the EVA Lettuce network partners agreed that using technologies as much as possible will facilitate the network interactions also going forward. The agenda of the meeting and presentations are available online (see Webpage)
A new open access peer-reviewed online journal
We are happy to announce the creation of Genetic Resources, a new open access peer-reviewed online journal which is free to publish and free to read. The ECPGR Secretariat is providing editorial management for the journal.
This new journal will serve as a common platform to share knowledge, tools and other information among practitioners and researchers across different domains of genetic resources, with a focus on plant, animal and forest genetic resources.
Authors are invited to submit original research, reviews or short communications. The first issue of Genetic Resources is scheduled to be published in June 2020. Manuscripts for consideration of the first issue should be submitted by 30 April 2020.
Countries that have not yet done so (Belgium, Greece, Israel, North Macedonia and United Kingdom)are reminded to sign the amendment on the Data Sharing Agreement or the DSA itself.
Inclusion of accessions in the European Collection
Countries are encouraged to initiate or proceed with the identification of accessions that have originated in their respective country (i.e. collected or bred) and that the country is prepared to include in the European Collection.
The Secretariat is available to provide assistance to facilitate the process.
Nominations of WG members
Updating the lists of WG members is always possible
N.B. Since the beginning of Phase X, in case there are several members from the same country, it is requested to nominate a Contact person, who will be the primary contact point for the Working Group regarding crop-level items such as questions on the European crop collection, the crop-specific standards and other crop-specific issues.
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