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Information Bulletin


No. 5 12 November 2015

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This fifth issue covers the period 05 August - 11 November 2015.

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

Seventh Meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)
28-30 October 2015, Maccarese, Italy


Major points of the agenda included the evaluation of Activity proposals submitted under the Second Call of the Grant Scheme, and the preparation of the agenda for the Mid-Term Steering Committee meeting, scheduled for May 2016.

A summary of the main points of discussion and decisions is available

Details regarding the selection of Activity proposals are given in the respective section below (ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call).

The full minutes of the meeting will be available online shortly.
Fourteenth (Mid-term) Meeting of the Steering Committee

The offer from Bosnia and Herzegovina to host the meeting was accepted. The meeting will be held in Trebinje, May 2016 (exact dates to be agreed).

ECPGR structure and modus operandi


Signature of memberships

(no change since previous bulletin)


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

No Letter of Agreement was received
during the last 3 months






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



(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 were received from 30 countries for a total amount of
€ 388 250.


Change in membership of ECPGR Bodies

New National Coordinator for Norway

Mr Morten Rasmussen, of the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre, replaced Åsmund Asdal who assumed a position at NordGen on 1 August 2015.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - Second Call

Three proposals selected by the ExCo and three proposals to be revised and resubmitted


Outcomes of the Second Call

A total of 12 proposals were submitted as a result of the Second Call of the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme. The evaluation was carried out by the ECPGR Executive Committee (ExCo), with the help of the ECPGR Secretariat, using the criteria that were established prior the announcement of the call of the Grant Scheme. Based on the assessment, and carefully applying the selection criteria, out of 11 eligible proposals the ExCo selected 3 proposals for immediate funding (Doc&Info, Vitis, Wild species conservation in genetic reserves).

Three other proposals (Barley, Forages and Prunus) need to be revised and resubmitted; notifications have been sent to the Working Group Chairs and Activity Coordinators.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme - First Call

Implementation of the Activities - summary of progress

This section includes only new information and updates received since previous bulletin.

Background information for all Activities can be found on the respective webpages (
see Outcomes of the First Call).
“Genetic diversity of Patellifolia species”
GeDiPa webpage

The marker analysis of the Patellifolia material collected in south-east Spain should be completed by mid-November, after which the statistical analysis of this data set will be started. The project will then continue with the analysis of the other samples as planned.
Collected seed samples have been sent to the respective national genebanks in Portugal and Spain.
A Primer Note (brief paper describing new primer pairs useful for studying natural populations) is being prepared. When all SSRs will have been sequenced, the sequences will be submitted to the NCBI / GenBank. After successful submission the Primer Note will be sent for publication to Applications in Plant Sciences.

EURISCO Training Workshop 2015
"National Focal Points Regional Training Workshop for Southeast Europe'
19-21 May 2015, Tirana, Albania

The final report of the workshop was published online (EURISCO NFP Training Workshop webpage).
Forages 2020
"ECPGR WG for Forages towards 2020s"

Forages 2020 webpage

Collection of data and work towards the establishment of a European Forages collection and an inventory of the respective C&E data has continued.
The management group had another Skype meeting in October. Emails were sent out to Working Group members, collection holders and National Coordinators to collect data in preparation of the project workshop which took place in Alnarp, Sweden, 9-11 November.
The agenda included four sessions: AEGIS, Crop wild relatives, Characterization and evaluation data, Workplan development.
The full agenda and list of participants are available from the webpage, where a short report will soon be published.

(photo: Trifolium repens NGB16933_2015)
“Identification and update C&E data of AEGIS Triticum sp. accessions (TRAID)”

TRAID webpage

Meeting of the TRAID Activity Partners, 16-17 September 2015, Tallinn, Estonia
The meeting, organized in collaboration with the Estonian Crop Research Institute (ECRI), Jõgeva, brought together 17 participants (12 ECPGR-funded and 5 self-funded).
The status of AEGIS candidate accessions selected per country members and the update of both passport and C&E data were presented by each partners. The meeting discussed the representativity of the full AEGIS wheat collection and studied carefully the possible gaps within passport and C&E data. The second day was dedicated to discussion about management of this AEGIS collection and the future agenda of the TRAID project until the end of 2015. Possible new activities of the Wheat Working Group were proposed and considered in order to prepare the future calls. Finally, the participants visited the baking lab of the Agricultural Research Center and the in vitro collection of the Estonian Crop Research Institute of Saku.
Background documents to the workshop (draft agenda and draft list of participants) are available from the webpage.

Meetings attended by the Secretariat

14-18 September 2015, Pavia, Italy – II International Plant Science Conference “Not only food: sustainable development, agrobiodiversity conservation & human well being” (in connection with EXPO Milano 2015 “Feeding the planet, energy for life”)
Lorenzo Maggioni as invited speaker presented "Plant genetic resources conservation in Europe: the AEGIS Experience". The presentation is available online (here).

9-11 November 2015, Alnarp, Sweden
Lorenzo Maggioni attended the Workshop of the Forages 2020 Activity (see above, Grant Scheme - First Call).

Links with other initiatives

Grain Legumes Working Group

On behalf of the WG on Grain Legumes, the Chair Creola Brezeanu attended the kick-off meeting of the ERA-CAPS project Bean_Adapt in Bonn, Germany, 10-11 August 2015.
Her presentation and report of the meeting are available online (
On behalf of ECPGR, the Secretariat has signed an expression of interest to collaborate with Bean_Adapt. This project, involving European and American partners, seeks to understand the genetic architecture of adaptation of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and its cross-compatible sister species, the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), in their centers of origin in the Americas and following their dispersal to Europe, as a model for future major environmental and socio-economic changes.

Documentation and Information Working Group / EURISCO

Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) Conference 2015

Stephan Weise, EURISCO Coordinator attended the TDWG Conference,
28 September to 1 October 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Horizon 2020

The proposals PGRGOLD and REMBRANDT received a high score  (respectively 13.50 and 14.00 out of a maximum of 15.00), but this was not sufficient to be approved for funding under the Horizon 2020 call for proposals SFS-07b-2015.



European Collection

Since previous issue of the bulletin the European Collection has increased by
10 070 accessions, bringing the total number of accessions to 27 806.

Breakdown per contributor:

For more details, click on map to access the webpage, or see full list of European Accessions)

Note: since August 2015, the European Collection webpage provides the possibility to "Watch the latest registrations for the European Collection", thanks to a new tool in EURISCO which displays every change occurred in AEGIS accessions (flagging or de-flagging) (operations performed before August have not been tracked).   

Crop-specific standards

The process dedicated to reaching Working Groups’ agreement on crop-specific standards has now been launched with all WGs (except Vitis, to be done taking into account their endorsement of the COST protocols).

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

A revised draft was commented by the Steering Committee and a new version is being prepared for another round of circulation.

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

A document was submitted to the Steering Committee on 25 September. A few comments received are being incorporated and the final version will be published online shortly.


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

The data exchange format for C&E data was finalized. The EURISCO database schema has been extended to allow inclusion of C&E data. Tools for the upload of C&E data have been implemented and tested. Two large test datasets from CGN and IPK have been imported (for testing purposes and to demonstrate the benefits of C&E data from EURISCO). The EURISCO Coordinator is now focusing on developing a prototype for searching C&E data, which is to be included into the EURISCO web interface.

Publication highlight - Thesis

On 4 September 2015, Lorenzo Maggioni successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis at the Swedish University of Agricutural Sciences.

Maggioni L. 2015. Domestication of Brassica oleracea. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.

New public awareness leaflet - ECPGR Phase IX

A new "three-fold" leaflet providing essential information on ECPGR has been produced and published 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.


We were very sorry to hear the sad news of the passing away of Dr László Holly on 8 August 2015, at the age of 73.

László was the former ECPGR National Coordinator for Hungary (until April 2010) and former Director of the Centre for Plant Diversity in Tápiószele (former Research Centre for Agrobotany).

As the Head of the Tápiószele Genebank, László was involved  in ECPGR since the first consultations for the establishment of the Programme back in 1979.

Reminders / Action points


EURISCO Data Sharing Agreement (DSA)

Countries that have not yet done so 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 Jan Engels (

Thank you for your inputs!
ECPGR and AEGIS website

ECPGR Information Bulletin No. 5

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