Genesys provides an easy-to-use platform through which external users access accession-level data from genebanks for a variety of purposes. 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.
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. Since 2013 Genesys has been managed and maintained by the Crop Trust.
Genesys brings together data not only from the CGIAR but also from the European network of genebanks (Eurisco), the USDA and other genebanks. It contains data on more than 4 million accessions. The Crop Trust is actively engaging with genebanks around the world to assist them in sharing data with Genesys. All genebanks are welcome to provide data to Genesys.
Through the portal, the Crop Trust also makes available tools for data providers to improve the quality of the data they share and facilitate the submission of germplasm requests to genebanks for consideration in the context of their distribution policies.
Genesys serves and informs two distinct but connected groups of stakeholders: PGRFA users and ex situ collection holders. PGRFA users include breeders, researchers, and policymakers who use Genesys to inform their own work. Ex situ collection holders comprise genebanks and research institutes who use Genesys to publish accession data on the web.
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 the European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources (EURISCO) of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR), the FAO’s World Information and Early Warning System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (WIEWS), and the Global Information System (GLIS) on Plant Genetic Resources of the ITPGRFA.