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Information Bulletin

 

No. 10 07 February 2017

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This issue covers the period 11 November 2016 - 06 February 2017.

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
archive).
Ninth Meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)

The meeting took place 14-16 December 2016, Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy.

See the Minutes of the meeting

A summary of the meeting and background documents are also available online (here).

ECPGR structure and modus operandi


 

Signature of memberships

 

ECPGR
 

33 countries have signed the Membership Agreement for Phase IX (click here to see list of countries and map)
 


AEGIS

 
34 countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (click here to see list of countries and map)

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

Contributions received to date


   Regular contributions



   Additional (voluntary) contributions received

 


Change in membership of ECPGR Bodies
 

Executive Committee (full list available here)

Mr Jens Weibull left the ExCo at the end of 2016 after having completed his term.
Ms K
ülli Annamaa, National Coordinator from Estonia, was selected to replace him as representative of the Northern region in a broad sense, as of 1 January 2017.

 
Working Group Chairs (full list available here)

Barley Working Group
By 21 December 2016, Ahmed Jahoor was replaced by Jan Svensson, from NordGen.

Cucurbits Working Group
By 21 December 2016, Maria José Díez was replaced by Maria Raffaella Ercolano from DISSPA, University of Naples Federico II.

Potato Working Group
Anca Baciu submitted her resignation effective 15 January 2017. The replacement procedure is under way.

Changes at the Secretariat

Jan Engels concluded his appointment as AEGIS Coordinator by 31 December 2016. Many thanks and congratulations to Jan for his excellent contribution throughout several years dedicated to ECPGR! The AEGIS coordinating tasks will be absorbed by the Secretariat staff under the Secretary’s guidance.

In January 2017, the Secretariat welcomed Imke Thormannn as part–time research assistant until July 2017. She will be in charge of the organization of a workshop dedicated to "Increasing ECPGR knowledge and opportunities on Private Public Partnerships for the use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture" to be held in June 2017 (see below).

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Fourth Call



A total of eight proposals were submitted as a result of the Fourth Call of the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme. In December 2016 the ExCo selected five proposals for immediate funding, listed below:

All Working Groups:
Networking among Working Groups for discussing and coordinating the implementation of ECPGR objectives (ECPGR Networking)

Allium Working Group: Safeguarding of Allium crop diversity in Europe in changing climate conditions (SafeAlliDiv)

Malus/Pyrus Working Group: Common ECPGR protocols and tools available for Characterization & Evaluation of Malus/Pyrus genetic resources (Pomefruit - C&E)

Umbellifer Crops Working Group: Improving the characterization and conservation of umbellifer crop wild relatives in Europe (CarrotDiverse)

Documentation and Information Working Group: GRIN-Global Workshop 2017 for European Genebanks (GRIN-Global)

Another proposal (from the Beta WG) needed to be revised and resubmitted.

See also Outcomes of the Fourth Call

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Third Call



The full list of Activities is available at Outcomes of the Third Call.

The implementation status is available from the respective Activity webpages.

Latest updates:

Consequences of climate change for conserving leafy vegetables CWRs in Europe (CCLEAFY)
The inventory of the crop wild relative species of the different gene pools of leafy vegetables has been finalized.
The project is currently focussing on the present distribution areas of the identified species, after which a selection of species will be made to analyse the expected effects of climate change on future distributions.


Assessing linkages between genebanks and direct users (LINKAGES)
A small kick-off meeting was held on 12 January 2017 at Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy. The purpose of the meeting was to start outlining the survey instruments that will be used in the project to assess the extent to which genebank materials are accessible to direct users such as on-farm conservation communities.

Promoting the implementation and the establishment of the European MAP Collection (MAPEUROCOLLECTION)
The meeting to discuss a common approach for the definition of the European MAP Collection will be held 27-28 April 2017 in Braga, Portugal.

On-farm inventory of minor grape varieties in the European Vitis Database (GrapeOnFarm)
European activities on grape germplasm safeguard raised the awareness and interest of wine growers about the existence of minor and neglected grape varieties. An inventory of farmers of these varieties will be intended as a framework information addressed to other grape growers and nurseries, wine consumers, wine merchants and journalists. Besides promoting the effective utilization of rare germplasm, the Activity also envisages its monitoring.
Actions to be carried out include publication in specialized magazines, agreement on descriptors and an on-farm section in the European Vitis Database. For more details see the
GrapeOnFarm webpage

Efficient management of resources for smart legumes utilization (SMARTLEG)
Approval of the proposal was confirmed in December 2016 after some adjustments requested by the ExCo in the budget and list of partners.

EURISCO National Focal Points Training Workshop 2017
The workshop will take place 12-14 September 2017 in Gatersleben, Germany.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call



The full list of Activities is available at Outcomes of the Second Call.

The implementation status is available from the respective Activity webpages.

Latest updates:

EURISCO National Focal Points Regional Training Workshop for Western European region
The report of the workshop is in preparation.

AEGIS progress and improved access to data on European Forage PGR (ForageDataAccess)
and
Integration of barley characterization and evaluation into EURISCO, and development of specifications for a barley crop portal, with a focus to improve the AEGIS collection (Barley C&E Data)
Partners of both Activities will hold a joint workshop in Malmö, Sweden, 14-16 March 2017.
The workshop will have 3 main sessions:
Session 1: AEGIS
Session 2: C&E and other information in EURISCO
Session 3: European Crop Portals for forages and barley
The tasks leaders held a skype meeting on 31 January to discuss the agenda.


Increasing the efficiency of conservation of wild grapevine genetic resources in Europe (InWiGrape)
In total 207 bibliographical references were collected: 153 publications were examined from usual bibliographic databases (Web of Science, Scopus) with a focus on wild grapevine. In addition, 54 publications were collected outside of the traditional academic channels, including unpublished articles or materials published in local journals. The distribution map of wild grapevine was generated on the basis of available GPS coordinates extracted from referred scientific publications. Descriptors were selected for determination of whether the observed individuals belong truly to the sylvestris subspecies or to other Vitis species. A first draft about InWiGrape was prepared for submission to the Vitis scientific journal and circulated among partners.

CWR Conservation Strategies
Promoting implementation of national and regional CWR conservation strategies

The final draft of the proceedings of the Joint Nordic/ECPGR worskshop is available online; the editorial process is under way.
The final Activity Report has also been received and is being processed. 

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - First Call



The full list of Activities is available at Outcomes of the First Call.

The implementation status is available from the respective Activity webpages.

All Activities under the First Call are now completed. Two final reports are expected:

GeDiPa
“Genetic diversity of Patellifolia species”
The Interim Activity Report (covering the period February- December 2015) was published in January 2016.

The genetic diversity of Patellifolia is being investigated to generate information required for the organization of a systematic genetic resources conservation action combining the best elements of the ex situ and in situ conservation concept. To this end, the project team has sampled material on the Iberian Peninsula and on islands of the Macaronesian Archipelago. The laboratory work was completed in late 2016. 
Summary results to date are available from the
GediPa webpage.
The final report is in preparation.

ECoHisPy
“Building and promoting a European Pyrus collection – A case study"
The report is expected.

Recent national and international meetings



14-16 November 2016, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute, Radzików, Poland
Training workshop on "In situ conservation of crop wild relatives and diversity assessment techniques

The main speaker/instructor was Nigel Maxted, Chair of the Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves Working Group. The main goal of this event was to discuss and agree on a modus operandi for the creation and implementation of a National CWR conservation strategy for Poland. This included presentations on the role of CWR from the point of view of breeders (vegetables, cereals), the creation of a CWR checklist, identification and prioritization of CWR, ecogeographic and diversity analysis, implementation of conservation priorities, including how to design, manage and monitor a genetic reserve in “in situ conservation” and finally how to collaborate with local people concerning conservation of CWR.
The workshop concluded with the determination of priorities in the creation of Polish CWR checklist and distributed tasks between the national participants of the workshop.

See the Programme

16 November 2016, Cagliari, Italy
RIBES, una rete per la biodiversità: 10 anni di conservazione (RIBES, a network for biodiversity: 10 years of conservation)
Lorenzo Maggioni attended this workshop, focused on the Italian RIBES network of botanical gardens for biodiversity conservation. His presentation (in Italian) is available online here.

24-25 November 2016, Rome, Italy
First meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SCA) on Article 17 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Frank Begemann and Theo van Hintum attended on behalf of the European Regional Group.
Lorenzo Maggioni had also been invited to present the European Information Infrastructure as a tool for the implementation of the ITPGRFA. His presentation is available on the ECPGR website (
here).
For more information see
the meeting's website.
To access directly the Report of the meeting, click here

Other news from the Working Groups



Beta Working Group

Update on Beta nana studies
Conservation status and properties of Beta nana, an endemic crop wild relative from Mount Olympus, Greece, have been on the agenda of the Working Group since its beginning. Activities to collect, multiply and characterize the existing populations have been under way in the past 10 years as a result of the cooperation between partners of an international network of Beta experts initiated by the ECPGR. Details on the full story here.
 

                                                       

 


European Collection

Since previous issue of the bulletin, the European Collection has increased by
2 accessions from Poland.

This brings the total number of European Accessions to 28 901.

   Breakdown per contributor:  


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

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

The manuals finalized by Associate Member Institutes are available here.

 



 

Release of the EURISCO Newsletter - third issue, December 2016


The Newsletter was distributed by email to all subscribers on 16 December 2016.

It is also available from the EURISCO website (section Statistics and Documents, EURISCO documents) and from the ECPGR website.






You can also click on image to access file directly.

 

Activity report 2016 / Workplan for 2017

These documents were finalized and are available from the
EURISCO website (section Statistics and Documents, Plans/reports).

Training workshop funded by the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme

EURISCO National Focal Points Training Workshop 2017
The workshop will take place 12-14 September 2017 in Gatersleben, Germany.

"On-farm concept" endorsed by the Steering Committee, January 2017


 
After a final round of comments, the "ECPGR Concept for on-farm conservation and management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture" was endorsed by the Steering Committee in January 2017. It is now undergoing final revision for English language and layout before being published online.

MoU signed between International Treaty and ECPGR



On 6 December 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between FAO, acting on behalf of the Secretariat of the International Treaty on PGRFA and Bioversity International, acting on behalf of the ECPGR Secretariat.

Considering the commonality of intents between ECPGR and the Treaty, this MoU establishes a framework for cooperation on a range of activities related to access to and exchange of information and the sharing of expertise, by which the Treaty Secretariat and the ECPGR Secretariat will collaborate in areas of mutual interest, with the aim of promoting synergy and the coherent implementation of Art. 5, 6, 16 and 17 and the objectives of the Treaty.

The MoU is available online
here

Private Public Partnerships


(follow-up on Decision 16 of SC 14 meeting: Collection of Private Public Partnership examples at national level)

A voluntary contribution was provided by Germany to ECPGR for the organization of a workshop in June 2017 on “Private Public Partnerships for the use of PGRFA”. The German funds (ca. € 82 000) would also cover the employment of a part-time research assistant for 6 months at the ECPGR Secretariat and the development of dedicated ECPGR webpages providing examples of public private partnerships on use of PGRFA. One of the expected outcomes of the workshop is a list of recommendations, prioritization and a feasibility analysis for an “Evaluation Programme on PGRFA in Europe”.

European Cooperative Programmes for Genetic Resources offering assistance to the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament


(follow-up on Decision 31 of SC 14 meeting: ECPGR Strategy for PGRFA in Europe - Letter to the EU )

Following up from the preliminary conclusions and recommendations of the “Preparatory Action on EU plant and animal genetic resources”, a letter from the European genetic resources networks was sent to the European Commission.

The Letter has been signed by the coordinators of the European networks, including crops (ECPGR), animals (ERFP), forest (EUFORGEN) and microorganisms (MIRRI) and was sent on 18 November 2016 to the attention of Mr Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development.

The letter encourages the EC to capitalize on the expertise of the existing genetic resources networks and is offering a close collaboration between the EC and the above-mentioned networks and their programmes for the development of a “EU Agrobiodiversity Strategy”.


The letter is available online here

A second letter, also jointly signed by the coordinators of the European networks, was sent on 31 December 2016 to the attention of DG-AGRI, Research and Innovation, suggesting research topics for the Work Programme 2018- 2020 of Horizon 2020.

Reminders / Action points



EURISCO Data Sharing Agreement (DSA)
Countries that have not yet done so (
Belgium, Greece, Israel, Macedonia FYR, 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 (e.lipman@cgiar.org).

 
Thank you for your inputs!
ECPGR and AEGIS website

ECPGR Information Bulletin No. 10

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