Genesys: A window on the world’s genebank collections
Genesys is a platform that allows users to explore the world’s crop diversity conserved in genebanks through a single website, helping them identify and acquire seeds that meet their needs and connect them to relevant genebanks.
Genesys provides support to genebanks in documenting and preparing existing data on their material for online publication according to agreed standards.
Genesys aims to bring together information on all the millions of accessions stored in genebanks around the world for access via one easy-to-use website. Rather than exploring multiple, separate databases, users are able to simultaneously search hundreds of genebank collections with a single search term or filter. Genesys makes this essential preliminary stage of the work of the breeder and researcher more efficient.
Users can discover material of interest on Genesys and then continue to refine their search on the websites of individual genebanks (if available). As needed, they can also then reach out to genebank curators for assistance in obtaining the material most relevant for their needs.
As of 2022, it collates data from more than 450 genebanks worldwide and contains data on more than 4 million seed samples, around half of all seed samples conserved in genebanks worldwide.
Genesys publishes passport, characterization and evaluation data, and accession images of PGRFA conserved in genebanks. Genesys also provides guidance and assistance to genebanks in documenting the data, so it is suitable for publication following agreed standards.
Genesys was originally developed as a collaborative project between Bioversity International on behalf of the System-wide Genetic Resources Programme of the CGIAR, the Crop Trust and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on the Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Plant Treaty) and is a major component of the Global Information System under the Plant Treaty. Since 2013, Genesys has been managed and maintained by the Crop Trust.
Genesys serves two distinct but connected groups of people:
- data providers, including genebanks, institutes and research centers, that use Genesys to standardize and share data on the material they maintain ex situ; and
- users, such as plant breeders and researchers, who use Genesys to search for the material that best meets their needs. Once they have found what they are looking for, users can request seeds and other planting materials from many of the genebanks holding them directly through Genesys.
The system is under continuous development, with new features being added continually. Updates on new features as well as data additions are recorded at https://www.genesys-pgr.org/content/news.
Genesys provides its services in collaboration with other regional and international plant genetic resources databases and data services. Partnerships comprise the mutual exchange of data and experiences to create synergies and avoid duplication of efforts. Partners include:
- FAO World Information and Early Warning System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (WIEWS)
- Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
- Data providers
Development, maintenance and operation of Genesys is supported by the Crop Trust Endowment Fund.
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