Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-7l5rh Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-23T11:45:53.236Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Current taxonomic composition of European genebank material documented in EURISCO

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2010

Theo van Hintum*
Centre for Genetic Resources, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 16, NL-6700 AAWageningen, The Netherlands
Helmut Knüpffer
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), D-06466Gatersleben, Germany
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


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.

Research Article
Copyright © NIAB 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bioversity (2010a) Taxonomic nomenclature checker – GRIN. Available at (accessed 2 February 2010).Google Scholar
Bioversity (2010b) Taxonomic nomenclature checker – Mansfeld. Available at (accessed March 2010).Google Scholar
Boukema, IW, van Hintum, TJL and Astley, D (1998) The European Brassica database. Acta Horticulturae 459: 249254.Google Scholar
Bowden, WM (1959) The taxonomy and nomenclature of the wheats, barleys and ryes and their wild relatives. Canadian Journal of Botany 37: 130136.Google Scholar
EURISCO (2010) Web catalogue providing access to all ex situ PGR information in Europe. Available at (accessed 15 March 2010).Google Scholar
FAO(1996) Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, p. 511.Google Scholar
FAO(2002) International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, p. 45. Available at .Google Scholar
FAO (2010) DRAFT Second Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Available at Scholar
FAO/IPGRI(2001) FAO/IPGRI Multi-Crop Passport Descriptors December 2001. Rome: FAO, p. 4.Google Scholar
GRIN-Tax(2010) USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network – (GRIN) (Online Database). Beltsville, MD: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Available at = en (accessed 5 March 2010).Google Scholar
Gupta, PK and Baum, BR (1986) Nomenclature and related taxonomic issues in wheats, triticales and some of their wild relatives. Taxon 35: 144149.Google Scholar
Hanelt, P, Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung Gatersleben (eds) (2001) Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops, 6 vols, 1st Engl. ed. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, etc. (LXX+3645 pp.).Google Scholar
IPK (2010) Mansfeld's world database of agricultural and horticultural crops. Available at (accessed March/April 2010).Google Scholar
IPNI (2010) The international plant names index. Available at (accessed March/April 2010).Google Scholar
ITIS (2010) Integrated taxonomic information system. Available at (accessed March/April 2010).Google Scholar
Knüpffer, H (2009) Triticeae genetic resources in ex situ genebank collections. In: Feuille, C and Muehlbauer, G (eds) Genetics and Genomics of the Triticeae. Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models 7. Springer/Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London/New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009, pp. 3179.Google Scholar
Rees, T (2008) Applications of fuzzy (approximate string) matching in taxonomic database searches, with an example multi-tiered approach (Extended abstract). In: Worcester, T, Bajona, L and Branton, B (eds) Proceedings of a Conference on Ocean Biodiversity Informatics, 2–4 October 2007. Bedford Institute of Oceanography (CSAS/SCCS Proceedings Series 2008/024), pp. 1214.Google Scholar
Spooner, DM and van den Berg, RG (2004) An analysis of recent taxonomic concepts in wild potatoes (Solanum sect Petota). Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 39: 2337.Google Scholar
Spooner, DM, Anderson, GJ and Jansen, RK (1993) Chloroplast DNA evidence for the interrelationships of tomatoes, potatoes, and pepinos (Solanaceae). American Journal of Botany 80: 676688.Google Scholar
TAXAMATCH (2010) TAXAMATCH – fuzzy matching algorithm for genus and species scientific names. Available at (accessed March/April 2010).Google Scholar
van Veller, MGP, Hoekstra, R and van Dooijeweert, W (2008) Implications of taxonomic inconsistencies for plant genetic resources documentation. Acta Horticulturae 799: 143146.Google Scholar
WIEWS(2010) World information and early warning system on PGRFA. Rome: FAO. Available at Scholar