Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 June 2010
Taxonomy plays an essential role in genebank documentation. It is often the first level at which users search material, and it determines the protocols used in the management of collections. Especially, when plant genetic resources information is pooled in systems such as EURISCO, the European catalogue of ex situ plant genetic resources, problems regarding technical handling of taxonomic nomenclature, such as lack of standardization and low quality of data, become apparent. These problems were studied by analysing the content of EURISCO and mapping the taxon names in EURISCO on those used in the United States Department of Agriculture genebank system GRIN-Tax. Thus, the number of spelling errors and the level of standardization could be quantified and improved. An analysis of the content of EURISCO was made, showing a highly unbalanced distribution over crops: 50% of the accessions belong to ten genera only. Mapping EURISCO on the crops listed in Annex 1 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture showed that 67% of the accessions in EURISCO belong to crops in that list.