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Information Bulletin

No. 1 - 07 November 2014
A summary of activities prepared by the ECPGR Secretariat

to the attention of the National Coordinators
This electronic bulletin is a new communication tool produced by the ECPGR Secretariat, to provide regular updates on its activities and relevant developments in ECPGR.

This first issue covers the period elapsed since the beginning of Phase IX (01 January -  07 November 2014). Future issues will provide regular updates and should therefore be much shorter.

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).

ECPGR structure and modus operandi

Signature of memberships

• ECPGR: up to now 25 countries have signed the Membership Agreement for Phase IX
• AEGIS: up to now 34 countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding and 54 Associate Membership Agreements have been signed

Level of contributions received

To date,  total member contributions received for 2014 amounted to € 313 500 (Phase IX budget was calculated based on an expected total annual amount of € 510 250).
To date, annual contributions were received from 23 countries and are expected from at least 15 additional countries.

Operational documents approved by the Steering Committee (SC)

ECPGR Objectives for Phase IX (first version, June 2014)

Phase IX - Goal, Rules of Procedures and Terms of Reference for the operational bodies (approved and uploaded as first edition in May 2014; current online version is second edition, October 2014)

Changes in membership of ECPGR Bodies

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

Austria: Ms Hedwig Wögerbauer retired at the end of June and was replaced by Mr Phillip Judex.
Bulgaria: Ms Siyka Stoyanova has been replaced by Mr Tencho Cholakov, the new Director of the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources 'K. Malkov'.
Croatia: Mr Stanislav Volenik retired at the end of 2013; the new NC is Mr Vjekoslav Markotić.
Czech Republic: Mr Ladislav Dotlačil retired at the end of 2013 and has been replaced by Mr Vojtech Holubec.
Denmark: Mr Lars Landbo has moved to a different working area within the AgriFish Agency and the new NC is Ms Birgitte Lund.
Ireland: Mr Gerry Doherty has been replaced by the new NC Mr Cara Mac Aodháin.
Italy: Mr Carlo Fideghelli retired at the end of 2013; the new NC is Mr Flavio Roberto De Salvador.
France: Ms Anne Chan-Hon-Tong has been nominated.
Slovenia: Mr Jože Ileršič retired in 2013; the new NC is Mr Vladimir Meglič.
Spain:  Mr Luis Ayerbe returned to the position of NC in June 2014, in replacement of Mr Fernando Latorre who moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Turkey: Ms Ayfer Tan retired recently and the new NC, representing the AARI Directorate, is Mr Abdullah Inal.

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

New members
Ms Gordana Ðurić from Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the ExCo on 1 January 2014, replacing Ms Alvina Avagyan from Armenia.
Mr Flavio Roberto De Salvador from Italy joined the ExCo on 22 September 2014, replacing Mr Fernando Latorre from Spain.

New Chair
Ms Eva Thőrn has been elected as new Chair of the ECPGR Executive Committee, starting from 1 January 2015 and replacing Mr Gert Kleijer, who is retiring.

• Working Group (WG) members

Nominations were received and the new lists of WG members, including their respective categories of expertise, are available online.

• WG Chairs

Nominations were received from 10 National Coordinators. Expressions of Interest (EoIs) were submitted by several nominated Chairs, but for some WGs no EoIs were signed. The ExCo is expected to take a decision on the appointment of WG Chairs during their next meeting in December 2014.

ECPGR Activity Grant Scheme (Phase IX): First call for proposals

On 27 June 2014, the call was sent by email to the NCs, WG Chairs and WG members and the dedicated webpage was launched.
The call was closed on 30 September. A total of 13 proposals were received, of which 11 were considered eligible and are currently being evaluated by ExCo.

In situ wild relatives and On-farm landraces concepts

Concepts were provided by the two respective Task Forces and then circulated to the SC for comments.
In August 2014 the ExCo requested the Chair of the “Wild relatives concept" Task Force to address a number of points and to provide a new version.
The “Landraces concept” received remarks of a more fundamental nature which required setting up a meeting to streamline differences of opinion before the drafting of a new concept can be commissioned. This meeting is scheduled for March 2015.


Task Force on the use of PGRFA

Based on contributions from the Task Force on "Engagement of users in ECPGR activities", the Secretariat prepared a Framework report on the use of plant genetic resources within ECPGR as a progress report to the Steering Committee (published online 27/06/2014).

Meeting organized in 2014

Tailoring the Documentation of Plant Genetic Resources in Europe to the Needs of the User: Workshop of the Documentation and Information and Working Group

The workshop was held in Prague, Czech Republic, 19-22 May 2014. Its purpose was to discuss the European Plant Genetic Resources Catalogue (or European Internet Search Catalogue, EURISCO), the European Central Crop Databases (CCDBs) and related topics. For more information and the final report, see the WG's webpage.


In representation of the ECPGR Secretariat, the Secretary attended the following events:

Annual meeting of the Italian National Programme for the Implementation of the International Treaty, Monsampolo del Tronto, Italy, 16 April 2014.

First meeting of a Consortium for the preparation of a project proposal under Horizon 2020 (SFS7-b), Schiphol, The Netherlands, 8 May 2014.

PGR Secure Consortium and European Association for Research on Plant Breeding (EUCARPIA) - Joint International Conference on utilization and conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) and landrace (LR) diversity for crop improvement, Cambridge, UK, 16-20 June 2014.

Second meeting of a Consortium for the preparation of a project proposal under Horizon 2020 (SFS7b), Schiphol, The Netherlands, 3 October 2014.

SeedNet Workshop “SeedNet – the Way Ahead”, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 5-6 November 2014.

Publications and documents finalized

Survey of Central Crop Databases (CCDBs)

In preparation of the Documentation and Information Workshop (see above), a survey to assess the status of the CCDBs at the beginning of Phase IX was conducted among CCBD Managers (December 2013-April 2014). See:

Proceedings of Working Group Meetings

 • Report of a Working Group on Leafy Vegetables, Second Meeting, 8-9 October 2013, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 Report of a Working Group on Umbellifer Crops, Second Meeting, 26–28 June 2013, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

 • Tailoring the Documentation of Plant Genetic Resources in Europe to the Needs of the User. Workshop of the ECPGR Documentation and Information Working Group, 20-22 May 2014, Prague, Czech Republic

External paper

Maggioni L, Engels J. 2014. Networking for plant genetic resources. Pan European Networks: Science & Technology 10:285-287.


European Collection

Since January 2014 the European Collection has grown by 1168 accessions: 90 from Croatia and 1078 from the Czech Republic.
For full details of the European Collection, see here.

Working documents

• A draft paper Record keeping, reporting and monitoring of the European Collection was prepared by the Secretariat and shared with the Steering Committee for comments.

•  A White paper on the slow rate of inclusion of accessions in the European Collection was developed by the Secretariat and shared with the Steering Committee and AEGIS Associate members, inviting them to share their experiences and thus contribute in the identification and solving of bottlenecks. 


The Final Report of the AEGIS-funded project 'Identification of old potato clones having unreliable variety names by means of fingerprinting using microsatellite (SSR) markers to assist in setting up the AEGIS collection for potato cultivars was received and is available online.


In 2014, the European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources (EURISCO) was transferred to its new host, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, Germany and is now running on IPK servers. Due to technical issues, large parts of its infrastructure needed to be revised. Thus, for the time being the functionality is still limited, but this will be improved soon. EURISCO will be continuously developed at IPK, based on the requirements expressed by the PGR community, and in agreement with the ECPGR Documentation and Information Working Group, which is guiding its development. Important objectives include the enhancement of data quality and the integration of characterization and evaluation (C&E) data.

EURISCO continues to be available at http://eurisco.ecpgr.org; the new Coordinator at IPK (Stephan Weise) can be reached at eurisco@ipk-gatersleben.de

Website development - highlights

A new webpage on Funding opportunities was created in June 2014
This page will be regularly updated and further developed.

The new ECPGR and AEGIS website was launched 06 November 2014
The new website now integrates the former ECPGR and AEGIS websites and includes many additional functionalities. read more...
Please note: some links may have been broken in the migration process. We are doing our best to fix everything and apologise for the inconvenience.

Upcoming meetings

The Sixth meeting of the ExCo will take place 8-10 December 2014 at Bioversity International, Maccarese, Italy.

A meeting on On-farm concept is scheduled for March 2015, Bioversity International. (see above)

Reminders / Action points

Deadline to send nominations for WG Chairs is 21 November

Keep on sending nominations of WG members
A number of countries have not yet updated their lists for Phase IX.
Updating the lists of WG members 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 dedicated webpage).

Keep sending feedback on the White paper on the slow rate of inclusion of accessions in the European Collection

Call for the hosting of the Mid-term Steering Committee Meeting
The Mid-term Steering Committee Meeting should take place in 2015 or 2016, dates to be confirmed. You are welcome to submit your offers for its hosting.

Thank you for your inputs!
ECPGR and AEGIS website

ECPGR Information Bulletin No. 1

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