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Information Bulletin


No. 8 09 August 2016

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This seventh issue covers the period 12 May - 08 August 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

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)

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

One new Associate Membership Agreement was signed with the Council for Agricultural  Resarch and Economics
(CREA), Italy. 


Level of contributions received to date


Change in membership of ECPGR Bodies

National Coordinators (NCs) (full list available here)

Croatia: Mr Vjekoslav Markotić has been replaced by Ms Mirta Culek, from the Croatian Centre for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Institute for Seed and Seedlings, Osijek.
Eighth meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)

The ExCo held 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 meeting was organized in collaboration with the Genetic Resources Institute of the University of Banjaluka.

The meeting report, a summary of the meeting, the presentations given during the meeting and background documents are available

You can also click on image to access the report directly.


ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Fourth Call

The Fourth Call will be launched in September 2016, with deadline end November 2016.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Third Call

The ExCo selected for funding seven proposals submitted by the following Working Groups: Grain Legumes, Leafy Vegetables, MAP, Vitis, Wheat, On-farm Conservation and Management, Documentation and Information.

See details at
Outcomes of the Third Call

Latest updates on implementation:

Identification and updating data of eligible AEGIS accessions in both wheat and rye species (TRISECA)
The Activity will start in September 2016 and preparations are ongoing for the first step, which concerns the choice of candidates accessions to be included in the European Collection. At the beginning of August, the Activity Coordinator sent to partners the background documents to be used for the selection of accessions. Lists of TRISECA accessions are expected to be finalized by the end of September.
The next step will be to improve passport data during winter, then characterization and evaluation (C&E) data during spring 2017, using field evaluation. C&E traits will be the same as those used last year in the TRAID Activity for wheat and those from the Secale Database for rye.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call

The proposals re-submitted by the Barley WG and Forages WG were approved by the ExCo and the results announced at the Steering Committee meeting on 31 May 2016.

A total of seven Activities have now been approved (see full list at
Outcomes of the Second Call).

Latest updates on implementation:

Collaborative action for updating, documenting and communicating the cherry patrimonial richness in EU (EU.CHERRY)
Since the kick-off meeting held on 6 April 2016 , the ten EU.CHERRY partners (Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia and United Kingdom) provided to East Malling Research (EMR - UK) leaves samples from 180 cultivars (mostly landraces) originally from their own countries. They also characterized those cultivars with, at least, a minimum set of 16 common C&E descriptors. Moreover, especially thanks to the collaboration with the COST Action FA1104 on “Sustainable production of high-quality cherries for the European market", the EMR laboratory has received samples of cultivars originally from 11 other countries (Croatia, Hungary, Iran, Lithuania, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Ukraine). Next steps are SSR analysis, compilation of data and data upload to EURISCO and the European Prunus Database.

Increasing the efficiency of conservation of wild grapevine genetic resources in Europe (InWiGrape)
A meeting was held on 5 July 2016 in Split, Croatia.
Activity members are working to compile a bibliographic inventory and a web-enabled map of historical and surviving populations in Europe. Sampling methodology and propagation methods for inclusion of wild Vitis into ex situ collections were discussed, as well as standards for ex situ conservation. Indicators of vulnerability of the wild grape populations were identified and will be compiled into an agreed list by the end of the Activity. Similarly, a list of effective descriptors will be prepared, enabling the distinction of Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris from subsp. vinifera or other Vitis taxa, either directly in the field or in collections.
The agenda, list of participants, summary of the meeting and presentations given are available online. Activity InWiGrape is planned to be completed by the end of 2016.

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

A meeting will be held 19-22 September 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania, jointly with the NordGen project “Plant genetic resources for food security and ecosystem services”.
The major objective of the joint workshop is to facilitate crop wild relative (CWR) conservation planning and development of CWR conservation strategies through elaboration of common approaches and views on most topical issues.

Over 45 participants from 20 countries are expected in the joint meeting.
More details and draft agenda are available from the webpage.

Assessing linkages between genebanks and direct users (LINKAGES)
A small kick-off meeting will be held on 12 January 2017 at Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - First Call

Two new Activity reports were finalized and are now available online: 

Identification and updating of C&E data in EBDB of AEGIS Hordeum (HordEva)

In total 14 countries selected a total of 15 157 barley AEGIS candidates in the HordEva Activity.

Activity participants currently have the capacity to maintain their European Collections. NordGen, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia are open for safety duplication under black-box arrangement if needed.

One objective of HordEva was not reached: updating of C&E data in the European Barley database (EBDB). This was not done since the EBDB is currently not funded and no updates have been done since 2001. However, EURISCO is suitable as C&E data repository, and will be used for this purpose. An inventory of C&E data was done by the participants and C&E data are available once there is a suitable repository for barley data.

You can click on image to access file directly.

Identification of a representative set of Prunus domestica accessions of European origin, well documented and characterized, to be included into the AEGIS system (PRUNDOC)

PRUNDOC partners carried out phenotypic analysis of  91 plum accessions from 10 European countries, based on an agreed set of descriptors. These data were prepared for inclusion into the European Prunus Database and EURISCO.

Moreover, leaf samples from 38 accessions were delivered to the Laboratory of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Balsgård for SSR analysis. These accessions of diverse genetic origin with unique genetic profiles could be potential candidates for the AEGIS European Collection. However, phytosanitary requirements for distribution of the material currently cannot be met by the collection holders. 

You can click on image to access file directly.

For all Activities, details on the implementation and reports are available from the respective Activity webpages (listed at Outcomes of the First Call).

International meetings attended by the ECPGR Secretary

19–21 July 2016, Volterra, Italy
Expert Meeting on the Toolbox for Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food And Agriculture
The “Toolbox” is supposed to be “one-stop-shop” from which users of PGRFA can draw resources tailored to provide solutions to specific needs. Examples of resources are technical information, policy options, regulatory guidelines, training opportunities, etc.). The objective of the meeting was to define the required functions and content of the Toolbox according to different user groups and to identify specific resources for inclusion in the Toolbox. Background to the meeting was the Programme of Work on Sustainable Use of PGRFA and recommendations by the Ad Hoc Technical Committee on Sustainable Use of PGRFA, also supported by an electronic consultation carried out by the Treaty Secretariat in 2015.
Some of the relevant messages conveyed by the meeting to the Treaty Secretariat:
  • Make sure that the Toolbox is integrated with the activities related to Article 17 of the IT (Global Information System). At this regard, the Treaty representative took note and agreed on the comment, but also said that at the moment they were considering GLIS and the Toolbox as two separate things;
  • Include a list of case studies of best practices related to Art. 6;
  • Make sure that the Toolbox can be a sustainable tool (consider the maintenance aspect and the possibility to involve country focal points or regional networks for helping in the compilation or update of certain elements of the Toolbox);
  • Use the Toolbox as an occasion to revive the Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter and allow for online publication of articles on PGRFA (conservation and) use activities.

9 June 2016, Brussels, Belgium
Final Conference of the Preparatory action on EU plant and animal genetic resources
The consortium led by Arcadia International, which carried out the above-mentioned Preparatory action, presented the findings of the action and the draft recommendations. All the background documents are available from the Action’s website.
ECPGR was prominently mentioned by several presenters as a valuable Network to be taken into consideration (together with the forest and animal genetic resources networks) for the creation of an EU platform on genetic resources. A draft background paper with recommendations would be finalized by the project consortium after the conference and handed in to the European Commission for consideration and transmission to the European Parliament.
The Preparatory action and Final Conference created a lot of momentum among European genetic resources stakeholders.
The ECPGR Secretary met the Executive Manager of the European Technology Platform (ETP) ‘Plants for the Future’ and they agreed to explore possible areas of collaboration/interaction.

Upcoming international meetings

29 August - 1 September 2016, Zurich, Switzerland
20th EUCARPIA General Congress
"Plant Breeding, the Art of Bringing Science to Life"
This international event, which takes place every four years, will bring together scientists and researchers in all fields related to plant breeding. Participants will present and discuss their research findings and their visions for meeting the great challenges of plant breeding in coming decades.

9-11 October 2016, Rome, Italy
European Seed Association Annual Meeting

The European Seed Association (ESA) will hold its 2016 Annual and European Seed Trade Meeting in Rome. The meeting will offer the latest updates and detailed information on the many crop-specific issues important for seed companies in Europe and worldwide, and the General Assembly will feature high-level keynote speakers to address some of the most important policy priorities for the seed sector for the years to come.

Links with other initiatives

Avena Working Group
Several members of the Avena WG attended the
10th International Oat Conference held 11-15 July 2016 in St. Petersburg , Russian Federation. They held a small satellite meeting on 13 July to discuss ECPGR matters. Minutes of the meeting are in preparation.

Prunus Working Group
The PRUNDOC Activity Coordinator attended the
ISHS IX International Symposium on Plum and Prune Genetics, Breeding and Pomology held 17-21 July 2016 in Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany, and presented a poster concerning the SSR results from PRUNDOC (Genetic diversity of Prunus domestica selected from ten countries across Europe). The manuscript will be published in Acta Horticulturae. 



European Collection

Since previous issue of the bulletin, the European Collection has increased by
161 Hordeum accessions from Latvia (12) and Poland (149).

This brings the total number of European Accessions to 28 847.

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 Insitututes 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.
The preparations are in full swing (local organization, planning of agenda, necessary update of training materials, development of test environment for hands-on sessions, etc.).

 EURISCO Training 2017
  EURISCO NFP regional training workshop 2017
The proposal submitted under the Third Call was selected by the Executive Committee. The workshop will take place during 2017 in Gatersleben, Germany.
EURISCO development and update

-  Tasks to improve performance and tuning were carried out for the new EURISCO characterization and evaluation (C&E) data component.
-  The new version of the EURISCO web interface was finalized and made publicly available. Feedback will be very welcome. If there are requirements/use-cases that need the preparation of further extensions, please contact the EURISCO Coordinator.

Dissemination of information

Release of the EURISCO newsletter -
second issue, August 2016

The Newsletter was distributed by email to all subscribers on 4 August.

It is also available under the "EURISCO documents" section of the
EURISCO website and from the ECPGR website.

You can also click on image to access file directly.

Upcoming meeting of the EURISCO Advisory Committee
14 October 2016, Angers, France
The draft agenda and list of participants are available online (

Documents in preparation

Concept for on-farm conservation and management

The deadline for the second round of comments by the On-farm Task Force and other On-farm Conservation and Management WG members to the draft concept is 10 August. The On-farm Task Force provided their comments on 4 August.

Reminders / Action points

Follow-up on decisions made at the 14th SC meeting

Decision 16. Collection of Private Public Partnership examples at national level
Countries are requested to provide examples of Private Public Partnerships to the Secretariat for posting on the website. Please contact Elinor Lipman

Decision 31. ECPGR Strategy for PGRFA in Europe - Letter to the EU
A draft letter to the EU was circulated to the SC. Comments and feedback are expected by 14 September.

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. 8

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