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

Plant genetic resources utilizationis 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 conserved germplasm by different breeding programs and how such use has generated welfare and wealth in many cases.

However, Since it is necessary to know the conserved germplasm in order to use it, the effort and costs involved in characterizing and evaluating such germplasm become a bottleneck in the process from preservation to utilization of these resources. To facilitate this connection between curators and breeders, since the 90’s researchers have been developing the concept of ‘Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy’ or FIGS. Nevertheless, onlyuntil recently, this methodology has emerged strongly, showing its usefulness through examples published in scientific journals and dissertations.

The FIGS methodology seeks to determine subsets where representativeness no longer prevails (as in the case of core collections) but the particular interests of breeders. Thus, the FIGS subset triesto concentrate the highest probability of finding a trait of interest for crop breeding without this trait being evaluated, partially or completely, in the original collection. To do this, the FIGS methodology is based on ecogeographic information of germplasm collecting sites and their relationship to the genotype and phenotype of the 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 chapter on this tool in the CAPFITOGEN3 user manual by clicking here.

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