Genomics for Genebanks

The impact of genomic characterization on gene bank internal operations is often modest or nonexistent for the majority of crops. The potential for these data to improve the quality and integrity of the collections has been acknowledged for many years but their routine and practical application remains lacking. The intention of this working group is to engage the next generation of curators, geneticists and bioinformaticists in a proactive planning process that develops a flexible set of best practices and strategies that translates genetic data into improved genebank management practices including user access. The Working Group will leverage the experience of crops where this integration has been successfully implemented. Developing an overall guiding strategy will enable curators to realistically anticipate future genotyping projects with an emphasis on returning value to the collection. Currently there is a gap in understanding both from the curatorial side (what can the data do for me?) and from the bioinformatic side (what would you want from the data?). Developing a dialog that serves as a bridge between the physical specimen and the digital data that describe it is a central objective of DivSeek and this will be a critical component of this Working Group.

Expected outputs include:

  • A priority list of curatorial needs that could be addressed through genetic characterization
  • A set of guidelines for developing and managing accession reference sets for characterization
  • A prioritized list of analytical approaches that are focused on accession identity, diversity and history