Global Crop Diversity Trust

A Foundation for Food Security

The usefulness of genebanks to breeders and researchers, and thus finally to farmers, depends on the availability of information about the accessions they conserve. This includes data on relatively simple traits such as plant height and the time between germination and flowering, as well as more complicated characteristics such as resistance to different diseases and tolerance to heat and drought.

The Trust has supported the generation and exchange of data on the samples held in genebanks, giving special priority to traits of relevance to poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change, including tolerance to the different sorts of stresses that new climates will cause.

In order to maximize the use of diversity held in genebanks, data must not only be available, but easily and widely accessible . The Trust has worked with Bioversity International, on behalf of the then-Systemwide Genetic resources Programme of the CGIAR, to develop a global information system that will link data from genebanks around the world and allow them to share this information with each other and with researchers and breeders worldwide. Called Genesys, this system is compatible with GRIN-Global, the genebank data management system developed by USDA with Trust support.

Further, the Trust has collaborated with FAO to provide training courses and materials on pre-breeding, in an effort to increase the use of genetic diversity in the development of new varieties that will be of value to farmers.

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