For optimal viewing of this email,  see the online version

Information Bulletin


No. 2 - 06 February 2015

A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This second issue covers the period 08 November 2014 - 06 February 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

ECPGR structure and modus operandi


Signature of memberships to date





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



Letters of Agreement from 4 countries were received during the last 3 months





34 countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (click on map)
No new signatures were received during the last 3 months

57 Associate Membership Agreements have been signed (click here to see full list)
3 new Associate Membership Agreements were signed during the last 3 months


The European Collection includes 11 504 accessions from 4 countries.    

Level of contributions received to date



Total member contributions received for 2014 amounted to € 379 250 (Phase IX budget was calculated based on an expected total annual amount of € 510 250). To date, annual contributions were received from 27 countries and are expected from at least 11 additional countries.


Member contributions were received from 2 countries for a total amount of € 20 000.

Changes in membership of ECPGR Bodies


• National Coordinators (NCs) (full list available here)

Israel: Ms Einav Mayzlish Gati, new Director of the Israeli Gene Bank (IGB), replaced Mr Avi Perevolotsky as of January 2015.

Serbia: Ms Milena Savic Ivanov replaced Mr Miodrag Dimitrijevic in May 2014. (apologies for omitting this in previous issue!)

Spain: Mr Luis Ayerbe retired at the end of December 2014 and Mr Juan Fajardo will act as interim National Coordinator until a new director of CRF is designated.


• Executive Committee (ExCo) (full list available here)

New Chair
Starting 1 January 2015, Ms Eva Thörn is the Chair of the ECPGR Executive Committee, replacing Mr Gert Kleijer.


• Working Group (WG) members

The new lists of WG members, including their respective categories of expertise, are available online. These lists are constantly being updated, based on nominations received from National Coordinators.


• WG Chairs

New Chairs for ECPGR Working Groups during Phase IX
Based on nominations received from the National Coordinators and on Expressions of Interests received from the candidates, the ECPGR Executive Committee, during its last meeting in December 2014, appointed the following Chairs:
  • Avena: Andreas Katsiotis (Cyprus)
  • Barley: Ahmed Jahoor (Denmark)
  • Brassica: Ferdinando Branca (Italy)
  • Cucurbits: María José Díez (Spain)
  • Fibre crops (Flax and Hemp): Martin Pavelek (Czech Republic)
  • Forages: Anna Palmé (NordGen)
  • Grain Legumes: Creola Brezeanu (Romania)
  • Malus/Pyrus: Marc Lateur (Belgium)
  • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Ana Maria Barata (Portugal)
  • Prunus: Daniela Giovannini (Italy)
  • Solanaceae: Willem van Dooijeweert (The Netherlands)
  • Umbellifer Crops: Charlotte Allender (United Kingdom)
  • Vitis: Thierry Lacombe (France)
  • Wheat: François Balfourier (France)
  • Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves: Nigel Maxted (United Kingdom)
  • On-farm Conservation and Management: Valeria Negri (Italy)
  • Documentation and Information: Theo van Hintum (The Netherlands)

For the Allium, Beta, Leafy Vegetables and Potato Working Groups the appointment of the Chair is still pending as no Expressions of Interest were originally received from possible candidates. The Secretariat and the ExCo are in the process of proactively identifying and proposing suitable Chairs.

Change in staffing situation of the Secretariat

According to the decisions made by the SC in Vienna (December 2013), starting
1 January 2015, the AEGIS Coordinator worktime was reduced from 50% to 25%.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme (Phase IX)


• First Call: selection of successful proposals

The ExCo approved for funding eight proposals for activities that were submitted under the Grant Scheme. These involve the following nine WGs: Barley, Beta, Brassica, Forages, Malus/Pyrus, Prunus, Wheat, Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves and Documentation and Information.
A webpage providing details of the successful proposals has been created.

• Future calls for proposals

A second call for proposals under the ECPGR Grant Scheme will be launched in April 2015. Two further calls are expected to be launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Development of an ECPGR PGRFA Strategy

During its last meeting (December 2014, see below), ExCo made a proposal for the development of an ECPGR PGRFA Strategy. A note was sent to the SC on
27 January 2015, requesting feedback and comments by 14 February.

Meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo)

The sixth meeting of the ExCo was held 8-10 December 2014 at Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy. General information related to the meeting (background documents, summary of the main points of discussion and decisions, full minutes of the meeting) is available from the Sixth ExCo meeting webpage.

Upcoming travels of 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 will present “Long-term conservation and facilities for an increased utilization of plant genetic resources: the AEGIS experience”.

Publications and documents finalized

Minutes of the sixth meeting of the Executive Committee



Crop-specific standards

The Secretariat continued the process of establishing with each Crop Working Group a table of agreed general standards as well as their crop-specific genebank standards.
The WGs are requested to check their agreed standards against the general FAO Genebank standards, and to indicate and justify any modification or addition made to meet their own needs, according to their crop specificities.


Subscription to the Newsletter

If you wish to receive the EURISCO newsletter that will now be produced by the new host, IPK Gatersleben, please subscribe at the EURISCO website.
For legal reasons, the list of subscribers to the EURISCO newsletter (e-bulletin) could NOT be transferred from Bioversity to IPK. In order to continue being informed about EURISCO, interested readers will have to subscribe to the newsletter again.

Activity report and workplan

The activity report for 2014 was completed and published on the EURISCO website.
The workplan for 2015 is being finalized.

Preparation of a training workshop

Starting in 2015, the series of regional EURISCO training workshops will be revived. The first workshop, funded by the ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme, will focus on South-Eastern Europe, especially on the SEEDNet member countries, and will take place at the Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania. The workshop date will be announced in a timely manner.

Upcoming meetings


February 2015Coordination meeting of the ECPGR-funded activity on "Genetic diversity of Patellifolia species (GeDiPa)"

The GeDiPa project, involving the Beta and Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves Working Groups, will hold its coordination meeting on 17 February 2015 at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain. For details, see the GeDiPa meeting webpage.

March 2015 – Meeting on “on-farm concept”

A meeting to discuss the concept on "On-farm management and conservation of landraces" will be held 10-11 March 2015, Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy. For details, see the On-farm concept meeting webpage.

Submission of projects with ECPGR Secretariat involvement to Horizon 2020

The Secretariat has been approached by several members and offered advice and suggestions to facilitate the creation of consortia to apply for funds under the call for proposals H2020-SFS-2015-2, topic SFS-07b-2015 (Management and sustainable use of genetic resources).
The Secretariat has also been directly involved in the development of three complementary projects that were submitted by the deadline for First Stage proposals (3 February):

PGRGOLD (Mining Plant Genetic Resources for the new gold – ensuring food security in a changing environment), coordinated by CGN, The Netherlands

REMBRANDT (Research to enhance management of Brassica genetic resources and human nutrition), coordinated by SLU, Sweden.

WHEATFOOD (The wheat project, for healthy food today and tomorrow), coordinated by the University of Pavia, Italy.

Reminders / Action points


Deadline to send feedback on the Development of an ECPGR PGRFA Strategy is 14 February

Nominations of WG members

Updating the lists of WG members for Phase IX is always possible.

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 (


Call for the hosting of the Mid-term Steering Committee Meeting

The Mid-term Steering Committee Meeting is scheduled for Spring 2016. The Secretariat is exploring convenient options for a suitable location. An offer received from Bosnia and Herzegovina is being considered.
Thank you for your inputs!
ECPGR and AEGIS website

ECPGR Information Bulletin No. 2

Copyright © 2015 ECPGR, All rights reserved.