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A new era of plant genetic resource management for Portugal

Banco Portugues de Germoplasma Vegetal

The Portuguese national genebank launched a new information system to manage their crop collection. The new system is based on GRIN-Global, a platform developed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, USDA/ARS and Bioversity International.

On 13 February 2015, the Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal – the Portuguese national genebank – officially launched a new information system to manage their precious collection of plant genetic resources.

The collection has a strategic importance for food security at the national and global level. Hosted in Braga, Portugal, it includes 45,000 samples from 150 species and 90 genus of cereals, aromatic and medicinal plants, fibers, forages and pasture, horticultural crops and other species.

The new system is based on GRIN-Global, a free platform developed in a joint effort by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and Bioversity International.

The full collection of plant genetic resources and the associated knowledge conserved at the Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal is now managed by a powerful and efficient system and, for the first time, the information will be available online for public consultation.

Since 2011, Bioversity International has been working with the Portuguese genebank to implement and evaluate the system, strengthening the capacity of staff to use the system along the way. The lessons learned from this process are crucial for the deployment, adoption and implementation of GRIN-Global in other countries and regions.

The goal of GRIN-Global is to provide the world’s crop genebanks with a powerful, flexible, easy-to-use global plant genetic resource information management system that will allow genebanks around the world to permanently safeguard plant genetic resources vital to global food security, and to encourage the use of these resources by researchers, breeders and farmers.

The ceremony to launch the new system was held at the genebank in Braga, in the presence of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Food and Agri-Food Research, the President and Vice Presidents of the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, civil authorities and representatives from national research institutions and Bioversity International.

 

Photo: Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal

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