For optimal viewing of this email,  see the online version

Information Bulletin


No. 6 09 February 2016

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This sixth issue covers the period 12 November 2015 - 08 February 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)

Two Letters of Agreement were received
during the last 3 months (Greece and Italy)






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

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

(no change since previous bulletin)


Level of contributions received to date



(no change since previous bulletin)
Total member contributions received for 2014 amounted to € 470 250 (Phase IX budget was calculated based on an expected total annual amount of € 510 250).
To date, annual contributions were received from 33 countries and are expected from at least 5 additional countries.


Member contributions for 2015 were received from 31 countries for a total amount of
€ 407 250.

Member contributions for 2016 were received from 1 country for a total amount of
€ 7500.

Change in membership of ECPGR Bodies

National Coordinators (NCs) (full list available here)

Greece: Ms Maria Papaefthimiou, from the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, has been replaced by Mr Ioannis Fermantzis, from the same Ministry.

Netherlands: Mr Bert Visser, from the Centre for Genetic Resources (CGN), the Netherlands, retired at the end of 2015 and was replaced by Mr Theo van Hintum, from the same institute.

Poland: From 15 January 2016, Ms Zofia Bulińska-Radomska, from the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute - National Research Institute (IHAR-PIB), was replaced by Mr Jerzy Czembor, from the same institute, as Interim National Coordinator, until the Implementing Agency from Poland is newly defined.


Executive Committee (ExCo) (full list available here)

Ms Zofia Bulińska left the ExCo at the end of 2015 after having completed her term.
Mr Marc Lateur, National Coordinator from Belgium, was selected to replace her as representative of the West European sub-region in a broad sense, as of 1 January 2016.

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. The process for the selection of a New Chair is under way.

Working Group members

The lists are constantly being updated, based on nominations received from National Coordinators.
Fourteenth (Mid-term) Meeting of the Steering Committee

31 May - 2 June 2016, Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The dates are now confirmed and the agenda of the meeting is being prepared by the Executive Commitee, but the location was changed from Trebinje to Visegrad, due to unavailability of enough rooms in one single hotel in Trebinje.
Eighth meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)

30 May 2016, Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The ExCo will hold a one-day meeting prior to the Mid-Term Steering Committe Meeting.

Surveys to collect feedback from the ECPGR community in preparation for the Mid-Term SC Meeting

According to the decisions of the ExCo at its last (seventh) meeting in October 2015, the Secretariat launched several online surveys to collect information:
- from the NCs and WG Chairs, on progress related to the ECPGR objectives under their responsibility,
- from all WG members, on the mode of operation of the WGs, including the appropriateness of the Grant Scheme and an evaluation of the respective WG Chairs.

Most surveys were closed on 31 January and the analysis of the results should be provided to the ExCo one month prior to the SC meeting. An extension was given to the National Coordinators owing to the low rate of response.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Third Call launched 8 January 2016

The Call was sent by email to the NCs, WG Chairs and WG members and the dedicated webpage was launched.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 April 2016.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call

Outcomes of the Second Call

Further to the first evaluation round, the Prunus WG has already re-submitted its proposal EU.CHERRY and it was accepted by the ExCo.

Two re-submissions are still expected from the Barley and Forages WG (deadline 15 April 2016).

Webpages have been created for each Activity and will be regularly updated:

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

The workshop will be held in Angers, France (dates to be decided).

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

A meeting will be held in Split, Croatia (dates to be decided).

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.

"Collaborative action for updating, documenting and communicating the cherry patrimonial richness in EU"

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - First Call


Outcomes of the First Call

All Activities under the First Call are now completed, with the exception of "Genetic diversity of Patellifolia species” (GeDiPa) which will continue through end 2016.

The reporting status is given below for each Activity (click on name to access the dedicated webpage).


“Genetic diversity of Patellifolia species”

The Interim Activity Report (February-December 2015) is finalized and available online.

Forages 2020
"ECPGR WG for Forages towards 2020s"

The report has been received, is being processed and will be available online shortly.

“Identification and update C&E data of AEGIS Triticum sp. accessions (TRAID)”

The report has been received, is being processed and will be available online shortly.

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

The report has been received, is being processed and will be available online shortly.

"Identification and updating of C&E data in EBDB of AEGIS Hordeum"

The activity was extended till end January 2016.
The report is expected.

Latest news

The project meeting took place in Alnarp, Sweden on 18-20 November 2015. The meeting was attended by ten Activity partners (eight ECPGR-funded, two self-funded) and two observers. All partners presented their countries’ barley AEGIS candidates and the respective information on C&E data. Selection criteria, gaps, management rules - in particular safety backup - were discussed for the AEGIS candidates. In addition, partners discussed topics for future ECPGR barley-related activities and procedures to follow for the implementation of the AEGIS Quality System (AQUAS) in barley.

“Building and promoting a European Pyrus collection – A case study (ECoHisPy - European Collection of Historical Pyrus)

The report is expected.

“Collection, Characterization and Evaluation of wild and cultivated Brassicas”

The report is due by end March 2016.

Meetings attended by the Secretariat

11-12 January 2016, Brussels - Genetic resources for value chain development

Lorenzo Maggioni was invited by the organizers to attend the workshop “Genetic resources for value chain development”, organized in the context of the ongoing European Commission Preparatory action on EU plant and animal genetic resources. This project aims at delivering inputs on how to improve communication, knowledge exchange and networking among all the actors potentially interested in activities related to the conservation of genetic resources in agriculture. Moreover, this project aims to find ways towards a sustainable and economically viable use of these resources.
This was the fifth workshop organized as part of the Preparatory Action. The project has also carried out an extensive literature review and 330 interviews, as well as mapped the genetic resources institutions in Europe and visited 21 case study projects on conservation and use. Previous workshops were organized on 1) Complementarity between in situ and ex situ; 2) Animal genetic resources; 3) Microbial genetic resources; 4) Impact of climate change on conservation and use of crop wild relatives (CWR). Next workshops will be organized on ‘Implementation of Nagoya protocol’ (February 2016) and ‘Implementation of GPA” (April 2016). A final conference will be held on 9 June 2016 in Bruxelles, with presentation by the project consortium of draft recommendations to the EC resulting from the knowledge acquired during the Preparatory Action. Members of the Parliament will also be invited at this conference, as well as all the participants of the previous workshops. The recommendations will then be sent to the EC for validation.

27-28 January 2016, Brussels - European conference "Designing the path: A strategic approach to EU agricultural research & innovation"

Lorenzo Maggioni and Eva Thörn attended a conference presenting the main elements of a long-term strategy for European agricultural research and innovation. All the presentations are available from the website (link above). During a meeting with Annette Schneegans (Research Policy Officer at DG Agriculture and Rural Development, Unit H.5), the ambition of ECPGR to open a closer dialogue with the EC was clarified. Annette was favorable to remain in closer contact and seemed to be available to attend the ECPGR SC meeting at the end of May, as well as to indicate colleagues who could be invited for their expertise on the Nagoya protocol.

Links with other initiatives

Wheat Working Group

Wheat Initiative
Created in 2011 following endorsement from the G20 Agriculture Ministries, the Wheat Initiative provides a framework to establish strategic research and organisation priorities for wheat research at the international level in both developed and developing countries.

François Balfourier, Chair of the ECPGR Wheat WG, was nominated as member of the Steering Committee of the “Global Wheat Germplasm Conservation and Use Community Expert Working Group” of the Wheat Initiative.
He attended the Expert Working Group meeting held 2-3 February 2016 in ICARDA, Rabat, where he gave a presentation on ECPGR and AEGIS and their wheat-related activities.



European Collection

Since previous issue of the bulletin, the European Collection has increased by
624 accessions  from four new countries: Bulgaria (261Triticum acc.), Estonia (15 Triticum), Poland (152 Triticum), and Romania (131Triticum and 65 Hordeum).
This brings the total number of European Accessions to 28 430.

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 were finalized in January 2016:

Solanaceae - Crop-specific genebank standards for orthodox seeds
Wheat - Crop-specific genebank standards for orthodox seeds

PrunusPrunus-specific standards for genebank management
(this document addresses standards for field genebanks and for in vitro / cryopreservation)

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

Record keeping, reporting and monitoring of the European Collection (AQUAS working document)

A new version was circulated to the Steering Committee on 15 December 2015 and received no further comments.
The final version endorsed by the SC (15 January 2016) is available online.


Benefits of establishing and operating a European Collection of unique and important germplasm (Information paper)

The final version is now available online.

Operational genebank manuals

Czech Republic: the Crop Research Institute (CRI) submitted their genebank manual on 27 January 2016. Some adjustments were requested by the AEGIS Advisor and an amended version is expected. 


Extension of EURISCO for characterization and evaluation (C&E) data

Based on the extension of the EURISCO database schema, a prototype extension of the EURISCO web interface for searching and filtering of C&E data was developed. Currently, this prototype is being tested and extended. It is intended to make it publicly available within the first quarter of 2016.

Update on EURISCO contents and coverage

Within the last 12 months, the number of accessions included in EURISCO increased by 722 373, reaching a total of 1 837 368 accessions from 43 National Inventories and 375 individual holding institutions by 23 December 2015. These accessions represent 6 234 unique genera and 41 642 species, respectively.
Large part of the recent increase was due to a very large dataset of 669 645 Arabidopsis accessions included into EURISCO in November 2015 from the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre, UK.


Dissemination of information

Release of the EURISCO Newsletter - first issue, December 2015

The EURISCO Newsletter, now produced by the new host, IPK-Gatersleben, is a series of electronic bulletins that provide feedback to National Focal Points (NFPs) and serve as a dissemination vehicle for NFPs and other partners to put forward their contributions regarding plant genetic resources issues/themes.

In order to ensure that the EURISCO Catalogue is sustainable and meets the NFPs’ and other users’ needs, everyone is invited to contribute to this e-bulletin. Thematic papers, ideas, comments, suggestions and questions are all welcome.

The Newsletter should be issued twice a year
(click on image to access the file)

• Presentation on EURISCO

In December 2015, a presentation on EURISCO was given at the workshop "Genetic
resources: conservation and trait improvement" of the GPZ (German Society of Plant Breeding) working group Plant Genetic Resources.

Activity report and workplan

The activity report for 2015 was completed and is available from the "Documents"
section of the
EURISCO website.
The workplan for 2016 is being finalized.

Publications finalized 



New public awareness leaflet - AEGIS

A new "three-fold" leaflet providing essential information on AEGIS has been produced and published on the AEGIS webpage and on the public awareness webpage.

You can also access the file directly by clicking on the picture.

All partners are encouraged to download, print and distribute it whenever relevant.

Reminders / Action points


EURISCO Data Sharing Agreement (DSA)

Countries that have not yet done so (
Belgium, Greece, Israel, Macedonia FYR, Malta, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine 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. 6

Copyright © 2016 ECPGR, All rights reserved.