AEGIS, the Virtual European Genebank: Why It Is Such a Good Idea, Why It Is Not Working and How It Could Be Improved

T.J.L. van Hintum, J.M.M. Engels, Lorenzo Maggioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Abstract

Europe is very active in terms of conserving plant genetic resources, with hundreds of genebanks and thousands of dedicated people involved. However, the resulting infrastructure is, along with being very expensive, far from efficient and not very reliable. In this opinion paper, the authors describe how this situation arose, and why the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR), the collaborative umbrella organization of the European countries involved, has not been able to improve this situation so far significantly. The principles of the decentralized virtual genebank (AEGIS) are described, and an analysis is made of the reasons for its lack of success. Possible changes for making AEGIS a success, or at least steps in the right direction, are proposed. These changes center around the creation of a system of certified genebanks with proper quality management, guaranteeing the long-term conservation of, and immediate access to the plant genetic resources conserved in it.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2165
JournalPlants
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021

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