A boost to the use of stored germplasm through the determination of subcollections where the probability of finding traits of interest from breeders is higher

The use is crucial to understand why we should invest in preserving agrobiodiversity, which is the basis for food safety. There are a lot of examples of the use of stored germplasm by different breeding programs and how such use has generated welfare and wealth in many cases.

However, since it is necessary to know first in order to use, in the process from preserving to using there is a bottleneck, the effort and costs involved in characterizing and evaluating all conserved germplasm. To facilitate this connection between curators and breeders, researchers have been developing since the 90s the concept of ” Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy ” or FIGS. However, until recently, this methodology has emerged strongly, showing its usefulness through examples published in scientific journals and dissertations.

The FIGS methodology seeks to determine subcollections, where representativeness does no longer prevail (as in the case of core collections) but the particular interests of breeders. Thus, the FIGS sub-collection try to concentrate the highest probability of finding a trait of interest for the crop improvement without this trait being evaluated, partially or completely, in the original collection. In order to do this, the FIGS methodology is based on ecogeographical information of germplasm collecting sites and their relationship to the genotype and phenotype of individuals collected there.

FIGS_R makes this methodology (in its “filtering” version) available to the community that works for the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources.

To learn more about FIGS_R, please read the user manual chapter on this tool by clicking here.

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