In 2013, as part of activities to mark the 2013 International Year of Quinoa, Bioversity International and FAO released Descriptors for quinoa and its wild relatives in Spanish and English.
This work is a revision of the original descriptors list published by Bioversity International in 1981, which provided a minimum set of key descriptors for characterization and use, including nutritional aspects. The 2013 revision, which now includes quinoa wild relatives, aims to contribute to studies focusing on the analysis of genetic diversity, germplasm management, the definition of new varieties and useful traits for crop improvement. During the review process, more than 50 quinoa scientists from 11 countries and different organizations provided their expert advice.
Descriptors provide an international language for exchanging data on plant genetic resources, allowing researchers across the globe to describe, store, manage and share information about their plant resources, whether they are stored in genebanks or grown in the field. More than 100 crop descriptors are now available.
The 2013 publication is a result of collaboration with Fundación para la Promoción e Investigación de Productos Andinos (PROINPA), the Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agropecuaria y Forestal and IFAD, with the financial support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation through the Semillas Andinas project.