Two important species of Brassica, on the Ionian coast of Albania

An expedition of ECPGR experts, Mr. Lorenzo Maggioni (General Secretary of ECPGR), Eva Thörn (ECPGR Executive Committee Chair), Imke Thormann (Federal Office of Agriculture and Food, Bonn, Germany), Fetah Elezi and Sokrat Jani from Agricultural University of Tirana (Plant Genetic Resources Institute), conducted an exploration mission for endangered species on the Ionian coast (some areas of the Vlora district) on April 04, 2019. The results of the mission were valuable as two species of genetic interest were identified: Brassica cretica and Brassica incana subsp. aegaea. These Mediterranean species have disappeared in some countries of the region. In addition, the Plant Genetic Resources Institute monitored the growth and development of plants of the above-mentioned species. At the matured stage of the seeds, on June 13, 2019 their collection was made (this was the first harvest). Protocols already known and approved by ECPGR were implemented, taking seed samples separately for different plants. The work on the processing of seed material and the procedures for accessing the Genetic Bank’s basic collection fund continues. For more:

EVA Workshop on vegetables

ECPGR Workshop for the establishment of a European Evaluation Network (EVA) on vegetables, 2-3 April 2019, Durres, Albania

The ECPGR Workshop for the establishment of a European Evaluation Network (EVA) on vegetables, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, gathered 20 experts from public institutions (genebanks and research centres from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Nordic countries, Portugal, Serbia, United Kingdom), private breeding companies (DeSeeds, Denmark; Gautier semences, France; ISI Sementi, Italy; Superior DOO, Serbia) and the German Federation for Plant Innovation (GFPi). Under the coordination of the ECPGR Secretariat and based on the framework and principles of the  EVA document recently endorsed by the ECPGR Steering Committee, the participants agreed to start a collaborative Evaluation Network, initially focusing on carrot, lettuce and pepper.  Pre-screening of European genebank accessions (mainly landraces and possibly also wild relatives) for disease resistance will take place in one selected laboratory. Private companies made themselves available to multiply a number of accessions as an input in kind to the network. Field testing will then follow in multiple sites across Europe, looking at various phenotypic and agronomic traits, adopting harmonized evaluation protocols. All accessions will also be genotyped. The principles of the FAO International Treaty will be followed for the exchange of material and consequent access and benefit sharing. The data obtained will be uploaded onto the EURISCO catalogue, being made available to the general public after a 3-year embargo, during which the data will be visible only to the partners. A project proposal will soon be submitted to a potential donor to cover some common costs, while the costs of the evaluation fields, data scoring and data exchange will be covered by the individual partners on their own budgets. According to agreed intentions, the initiative should start with the lab tests already in 2019 and the multiplication of the first batch of accessions takes place during 2020. Additional partners, beyond those who were present in Durres, will be welcome to join in the initiative. For more:

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