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Information Bulletin


No. 7 12 May 2016

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This seventh issue covers the period 09 February - 11 May 2016.

We hope you will find this bulletin useful and look forward to your feedback (you can send comments by using the Reply button to the email message).

The bulletins are also available online (see
Eighth meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)

The ExCo will hold a one-day meeting prior to the Mid-term Steering Committe Meeting, on 30 May 2016.

Fourteenth (Mid-term) Meeting of the Steering Committee
31 May - 2 June 2016, Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The provisional agenda, general information and background documents are available online (here).

 Highlights of the agenda:

- Report on Phase IX
- Planning for Phase X
- ECPGR Strategy for PGRFA
- ECPGR and the Nagoya Protocol


ECPGR structure and modus operandi


Signature of memberships



33 countries have signed the Membership Agreement for Phase IX (click on map)






34 countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (click on map)

58 Associate Membership Agreements have been signed (click here to see full list)


Level of contributions received to date


Annual report 2015

The Annual Progress report and Financial report were distributed to the Steering Committe on 6 May 2016. They are also available online as background documents to the 14th SC meeting.

Change in membership of ECPGR Bodies

National Coordinators (NCs) (full list available here)

France:  Ms Anne Chan Hon Tong, from the Ministry of Agriculture, has been replaced by Ms Audrey Didier, from GEVES, starting April 2016.

Turkey:  Mr Abdullah Inal retired from AARI on 19 April 2016. Turkey will be represented by Ms Gun Kircalioglu at the 14th SC meeting.

Selection of a new Chair for the Cucurbits Working Group

Maria José Diez (Spain) submitted her resignation from her position of Chair, effective end of May 2016. Expressions of Interest are sought for her replacement.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Third Call

The Call was closed on 15 April 2016.

A total of eight  proposals were submitted from the following Working Groups:
Beta, Grain Legumes, Leafy Vegetables, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Vitis, Wheat, Documentation and Information, On-farm Conservation and Management.

The evaluation will be carried out by the ECPGR Executive Committee and the results announced at the Steering Committee meeting on 31 May 2016.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call

Four Activities have already been approved and are engaged in their implementation (see Outcomes of the Second Call):

EURISCO Training 2016 (Documentation and Information WG)
"EURISCO National Focal Point regional training workshop 2016" -  

The workshop will be held in Angers, France, 12-14 October 2016, dedicated to newly appointed National Focal Points (NFPs) and those who can bring C&E data in the proposed format for upload onto EURISCO. NFPs will test uploading their National Inventories (NIs) and will receive responses from the system, and get guidance on interpreting and utilizing these responses to improve their data. The feedback on the uploading system and the search interface will support the further development of EURISCO.

InWiGrape (Vitis WG)
"Increasing the efficiency of conservation of wild grapevine genetic resources in Europe"     

A meeting will be held in Split, Croatia, on 5 July 2016. The programme will include discussion on: status of wild grape populations; descriptors for the identification and evaluation of wild grape populations; vulnerability indicators for V. vinifera subsp. silvestris.

CWR Conservation Strategies (Wild species conservation in genetic reserves WG)
Promoting implementation of national and regional crop wild relative (CWR) conservation strategies through sharing of knowledge and experience to create an integrated European strategy for CWR conservation"

A meeting will be held in Vilinus, Lithuania, mid-September 2016, to seek consensus of opinions on a variety of questions related to CWR conservation planning.

"Collaborative action for updating, documenting and communicating the cherry patrimonial richness in EU"
The kick-off meeting was held on 6 April 2016 in Naoussa, Greece, jointly with the meeting of the COST Action FA1104 on “Sustainable production of high-quality cherries for the European market”. ECPGR Activity partners selected 165 sweet cherry accessions to be characterized and evaluated in the course of the project according to agreed descriptors. Those 165 accessions and more than 100 other accessions from COST Action FA1104 partners will be used to re-assess the ECPGR SSR marker set for genotyping sweet cherry; the analysis will be done by East Malling Research, UK.

  Two proposals were re-submitted as requested by deadline 15 April 2016 and will be evaluated by the ExCo together with the Third Call proposals:
- Barley C&E Data (Barley WG)
- ForageDataAccess (Forages WG)

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - First Call

Two final Activity reports are now available online:

ECPGR WG for Forages towards 2020s (Forages 2020)

The three main tasks planned for Forages 2020 were implemented as follows:
1.  Work towards the establishment of the European Forage Collection (EFC) in accordance with the AEGIS goals: substantial progress was made in the development of the EFC. By 1 November 2015, 7024 forage accessions were flagged in EURISCO within the most important forage genera by the following countries: Czech Republic (236), Germany (2203), the Netherlands (841), Nordic Countries (1303) and UK (2431). In addition, at least five other countries had started their selection process.
2.  Inventory of evaluation and characterization (C&E) data on European forage accessions: the results of the survey showed that there is a broad range of C&E data sets available. These data would be very useful for the selection of material to be used in breeding and pre-breeding, and should be made publicly available. The Forages WG will provide test data to facilitate the development of the C&E module in EURISCO.
3.  Development of a new workplan for the ECPGR Forages Working Group: at end 2015 the workplan developed by the Forages 2020 partners was being further discussed and elaborated with contributions from all WG members.

Triticum in AEGIS: Identification and Documentation (TRAID)

The aims of TRAID were to increase the participation of Wheat WG members in the AEGIS initiative to create a European Collection on Triticum and to increase the quantity and quality of data in EURISCO.
In a first step, the partners checked and updated the list of accessions in the European Wheat Database (EWDB) distributed at the last meeting of the Wheat WG (May 2012). Those of the TRAID partners who had not yet defined AEGIS candidate accessions identified eligible AEGIS candidate accessions for flagging in the EWDB. Partners who had already designated candidate accessions checked and updated related passport data and C&E data for these accessions.
 A total of 5659 accessions from 12 countries were identified as eligible for the AEGIS European Collection and flagged in the EWDB. The respective passport and C&E data were updated in the EWDB.
Further to approval of the lists by National Coordinators, the accessions will be included in the European Collection by the EURISCO National Inventory Focal Points.

For all Activities, details on the implementation and reports are available from the respective Activity webpages (listed at Outcomes of the First Call) and summaries of results are included in the 2015 Annual Progress report.

Meetings attended by the Secretariat

21 April 2016, Bonn, Germany
Implementation of the Global Plans of Action (FAO): which role for the EC ?

(Seventh workshop organized in the framework of the Preparatory action on EU plant and animal genetic resources)

This workshop was jointly organized by FAO and the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Germany. L. Maggioni presented the role of ECPGR and Eva Thörn delivered a statement on behalf of ECPGR. The conclusions of the workshop highlighted the need for: 1) stable and long-term funding for in situ and ex situ conservation of genetic resources at European level; 2) a comprehensive legal framework in Europe to provide a supportive policy framework for conservation and use of genetic resources; 3) formal support by the European Commission for the European networks on genetic resources; 4) a supportive framework for the development of value chains for plant and animal products; 5) a single entry point for matters related to genetic resources both at the country and EC level; 6) a European strategy for agricultural biodiversity.
The workshop’s conclusions will feed into the final recommendations of the Preparatory action on EU plant and animal genetic resources.

Links with other initiatives

Vitis Working Group

The ECPGR Secretariat had given external support to the COST Action proposal Eurasian Wild and Bred Grapevine Diversity: Facing Changing Climates and Markets (EUGRAPE). The first proposal submitted in 2015 (OC-2015-1-19410) was not accepted but the evaluators identified the link with the ECPGR Vitis WG as the main strength of the project. A new proposal (OC-2015-1-19410) was resubmitted in April 2016.
COST website)



European Collection

Since previous issue of the bulletin, the European Collection has increased by
256 Triticum accessions from Slovakia (247) and Latvia (9).
This brings the total number of European Accessions to 28 686.

Breakdown per contributor:

For more details, click on map to access the webpage, or see full list of European Accessions.
Crop-specific standards

The process dedicated to reaching Working Groups’ agreement on crop-specific standards continues.

The following WGs finalized their crop-specific genebank standards for orthodox seeds in March 2016: Avena, Beta and Leafy Vegetables.

All standards agreed by the WGs are available from their respective WG's webpages, or all together here
Operational genebank manuals

Czech Republic
The Crop Research Institute (CRI) and the Potato Research Institute (PRI) have finalized their Operational genebank manuals. They are available here. 


Training workshops funded by the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme

EURISCO Training 2016 (approved under Second Call)
  EURISCO NFP regional training workshop for Western European region
  The workshop will be held 12-14 October 2016 in Angers, France.

 EURISCO Training 2017 (proposal submitted under Third Call, being evaluated)
EURISCO development and update

Extensive data cleansing activities were performed.

The next version of the EURISCO web interface is almost finished:
- Interface for C&E data extended
- Export functionality completely reworked
- Advanced search extended for multiple search

- Ten productive updates in 2016 so far
- France started to completely rework their NI dataset; first 1775 accessions integrated.

Re-establishment of the EURISCO Advisory Committee

The EURISCO Advisory Committee is established to monitor the progress of EURISCO and give advice on its further development. Members are selected under their personal capacity by the Chair of the Doc&Info WG and the list is endorsed by the Steering Committee (see
List of EURISCO Advisory Committee members).
Dissemination of information

A poster on EURISCO was presented at the German Plant Breeding Conference (8-10 March 2016, Bonn, Germany).

• The Workplan for 2016  was completed and is available from the "Documents"
section of the
EURISCO website.

Documents in preparation

Concept for on-farm conservation and management

A draft from the Secretariat was circulated to the On-farm Task Force and the entire WG for comments by 15 May. Submission to SC will then follow.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two Secretariats of ECPGR and of the International Treaty

Following recent discussion with the International Treaty Secretariat and in line with the objective to increase collaboration between ECPGR and the Treaty, a draft MoU between the two Secretariats of ECPGR and of the International Treaty (respectively represented by their legal hosts Bioversity International and FAO) was developed.  Following the comments to this draft provided by Steering Committee members, a revised document is being prepared for signature.  

Reminders / Action points

EURISCO Data Sharing Agreement (DSA)
Countries that have not yet done so (
Belgium, Greece, Israel, Macedonia FYR, Malta, Portugal, Serbia 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 for Phase IX is always possible.
The lists are available online from the WG Members and Chairs webpage.

Keep on sending information on National Programme public awareness
The ECPGR website collects accounts of national public awareness initiatives. Eleven countries have contributed so far (see National Programmes public awareness webpage).

Operational genebank manuals

National Coordinators are kindly reminded to make sure that Associate Members develop their operational genebank manual by using the endorsed template available on the AEGIS website.
In case of questions or doubts please contact Elinor Lipman (

Thank you for your inputs!
ECPGR and AEGIS website

ECPGR Information Bulletin No. 7

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