Accession Management: Combining or splitting accessions as a tool to improve germplasm management efficiency

N. Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, J. M. M. Engels, Th J. L. van Hintum, B. Koo, M. Smale

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Abstract

Production of this publication has been triggered by the following observations: (a) It is essential to document good accession management practices that have developed in practical genebank situations, as part of the process of establishing guidelines for optimal genebank management. (b) To date there has been no systematic treatment of issues related to the genetic composition of genebank accessions. (c) Genebank operations are becoming increasingly expensive, not only because of ever increasing collection sizes but also due to permanently rising labour and recurrent costs and the introduction of high-cost molecular and information technologies. This requires new approaches to optimize genebank operations, for example to benefit from the gains in productivity and performance now achievable through the new technologies. (d) There is a need to ensure that genebank management practices are indeed optimal, based on appropriate scientific and economic principles. Rising costs, falling budgets, developing molecular and information technologies, changing expectations are rapidly changing conditions, which present new challenges and opportunities that genebanks must face. To maximize the genetic and economic efficiency of conserving and utilizing ex situ collections of plant genetic resources, genebanks must develop innovative approaches more suited to modern conditions and make use of these opportunities. This Technical Bulletin deals with one aspect of the broader objective of helping to improve genebank management in response to changing conditions. Specifically, it aims to encourage discussion and consideration of the optimum genetic composition of the unit of management that we call the accession: if it is not optimal, should we split or combine accessions?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccession Management Trials of Genetic Resources Collections
PublisherBioversity International
ISBN (Print)929043516X, 978-9290435167
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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