The Maintenance of a Pea Gene Bank

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

The sustainable development of UK crops in the face of new biotic and abiotic stresses is heavily dependent on access and utilisation of germplasm resources. Access to diverse, well characterised genetic resources is essential to the underpinning of progress in plant science research and the genetic enhancement of future crops through commercial breeding. The support of key ex situ germplasm collections is in line with Defra’s policy on genetic resources for food and agriculture and Defra’s lead in meeting UK commitments for conservation of plant genetic resources under both the Convention on biological Diversity (1994) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA, 2004).

The Collection underpins a wide range of research and commercial breeding through the provision of relevant germplasm and associated data. The collection currently stands at just over 3560 accessions and comprises wild accessions, landraces, cultivars and breeders lines from the different breeding pools across the world. The collection also the world reference collection of mutation stocks for pea which underpin the Pisum Gene list and mapping work as well as sets of host differentials for disease work and breeding cited in the international UPOV guidelines for pea.

The project will support the continued maintenance and development and promotion of the collection through the further characterisation of material in the field and glasshouses together with the distribution and utilisation of germplasm and related information through the on-going programme of new introductions, characterisation and dissemination of information associated with the collections. It will also support the development of the collection through focusing on capitalising on the recent diversity analysis of some 80% of the collection published in 2010 based on molecular markers in a focused approach targeted on current priority traits within the research and breeding communities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We brought 56 new lines into the collection. These consisted of 26 genetic stocks following their publication and 14 breeders lines for rootrot proactively sourced from the USA into the UK to enable the easier utilisation within European breeding programmes. A total of 13 cultivars were accessioned as being important and novel for UK research and to complement the genetic stocks component of the collection. In 2012 we took on the long term curation of three sets of combined pea recombinant inbred lines totalling 641 lines developed from two-way mapping populations from the pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network. Currently this resource is maintained outside of the pea collection but their inclusion
into the pea collection is a point of active discussion for the future. Regeneration of accessions was conducted in each year of the project in both glasshouses and the field providing the opportunity for the collection of further characterisation data for uploading into the databases. Digital images are now routinely captured to enhance the records for users.
Exploitation Route Facilitated access to genetic variation is an essential requirement for the research and breeding communities to further our understanding of the basic science of plant development and genetics and for the translation and use in plant breeding and crop improvement. All our resources are made available to researchers.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description The collections have been promoted through publications, presentations, growing demonstrations and web searchable databases. Access to data was significantly enhanced through the data on the collection being uploaded and made publicly accessible through a new GRU information system 'SeedStor' that went live in December 2015. This enabled characterisation and images to be publicly searchable for the first time. The level of enquiries and engagement has increased over this funding period compared to the previous 5 year period. This breaks down as follows; • Number of enquiries totalled 630 (UK 407, EU 133 and rest of the World 93) • 630 enquiries from 35 countries (510 from researchers, 45 from breeders (from 9 countries), 40 for education and demonstrations • 230 resulted in use of germplasm • A total of 1584 accessions distributed Ready access to the diversity, expertise and demonstrations of the Pea Collection has significantly helped in underpinning a wide range of fundamental and strategic advances linked to crop improvement and improved nutritional quality for both humans and animal consumption both in the UK and abroad. The Pea Collection curator has regularly attended and contributed to management and stakeholder meetings of the defra supported Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN) which has resulted in uptake of germplasm with novel traits directly into commercial crossing programmes for breeding including distinctness traits, crop architecture, seed quality and disease resistance. One of the spin out projects of PCGIN that includes both academic and commercial parties is exemplified through the use of historical screening records and exotic germplasm forming core material currently being used in the ADHB Pea Downy Mildew project. The diversity and broad expertise have been provided to commercial breeders in both the horticultural and arable crops has had direct effects on the efficiency of their operations and in assisting their efforts in crop improvement and overall environmental sustainability. Significant inputs have been into the efforts in France, the Netherlands, USA, Canada and Australia.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description UK Plant Genetic Resources Group (UKPGRG)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The UK Plant Genetic Resources Group (UKPGRG) serves as the technical forum to discuss and implement the conservation and use of plant genetic resources in the UK. The broad membership includes both curators of ex situ plant genetic resource centres, those involved in in situ conservation, and representatives from non-governmental organisation, the commercial plant breeding sector and Universities. Botanic gardens, the Forestry Commission and statutory collections are also represented. The Group provides advice and technical support to Government Departments on technical and policy matters which relate to the UK or the UK's international role in the area of plant genetic resources.
URL http://ukpgrg.org
 
Description UK-PGR group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://ukpgrg.org/
 
Title SeedStor 
Description SeedStor acts as the publicly available database for the seed collections held by the Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU) based at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. The GRU curates germplasm collections of a range of temperate cereal, legume and Brassica crops and their associated wild relatives, as well as precise genetic stocks, near-isogenic lines and mapping populations. With >35,000 accessions of wheat, barley, oat and pea. SeedStor is a fully searchable system that allows our various collections to be browsed species by species through to complicated multipart phenotype criteria-driven queries. The results from these searches can be downloaded for later analysis or used to order germplasm via our shopping cart. The user community for SeedStor is the plant science research community, plant breeders, specialist growers, hobby farmers and amateur gardeners, and educationalists. Furthermore, SeedStor is much more than a database; it has been developed to act internally as a Germplasm Information Management System that allows team members to track and process germplasm requests, determine regeneration priorities, handle cost recovery and Material Transfer Agreement paperwork, manage the Seed Store holdings and easily report on a wide range of the aforementioned tasks. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The work of JIC has become more efficient and more defective. 1. The unit capacity increased for seed dissemination 2. Automatic prioritization of stock for regeneration ensures that resources are accurately and effectively spent 3. Assosiated information is gradually uloaded to the database adding value to the curated germplasm collections 4. Users enjoy an Amazon like experiance when they order seeds. 5. We are able to comunicate and resieve feedbacks in automated manner to improve our work 6. Reports for the international bodies (EURISCO, FAO) are easily produced 7.Reports to founders funders are easily generated 
URL http://www.seedstor.ac.uk
 
Description Defra Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN) 
Organisation Aberystwyth University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The undersigned lead PI on the 'Germplasm Resources Unit' National Capability grant (BBS/E/J/000PR8000) is a member of the PCGIN management team to support any aspect directly linked to the germplasm supply and germplasm curation in planning and running of PCGIN and its network activities. A central goal of the tight collaboration is to correctly plan activities related to future custodianship and distribution of germplasm arising from PCGIN activities and to increase PCGIN future positive impact on legume use in agriculture through long term curation and provision via the GRU
Collaborator Contribution The Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN), funded by Defra, is a platform that serves the process of legume crop improvement in the UK. It establishes the route by which scientific resources, results and knowledge are delivered to breeders, producers and end users, providing a link between these groups and the research base to achieve added value for pulse crops. It provides resources, expertise and understanding that are drawn upon by both public and commercial sectors in breeding, analysis, and in the definition and improvement of product quality relating to both commercial and public goods. It promotes and executes the translation of genomic research tools to crop improvement, consistent with both the needs of UK industry, and Defra objectives relating to sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it provides links with, and involvement in, European pulse crop research programmes. Crop diversification and lowering inputs are major drivers for sustainable agricultural policy. Pulse crops can contribute positively to these two policy goals because, as a consequence of biological nitrogen fixation, they require minimal inputs and are less environmentally polluting that other crops such as cereals or brassicas. They act as a very effective break crop in our cereal dominated rotation. However, there is a need to make legume crops more attractive to farmers, and to increase the market value of their product. These two are the major strands of PCGIN research activity. Limitations to growing pulse crops in rotations are being addressed through research aimed at improving crop performance and reliability. The genetic basis for agronomic traits such as standing ability, yield and disease will be established. Pulse crops are also an efficient source of plant-derived protein for food and animal feed. Increasing the market value of seed products will depend on genetic studies that define and underpin the traits that limit seed quality.
Impact Main output include the improvement of member knowledge which allow better germplasm circulation within PCGIN including swift and full fulfilment of the legal and phytosanitary needs. The collaboration is multidisciplinary as member of the management team include seed quality scientists in addition to phytologists, plant physiologists, geneticists, growers and breeders from the public and the private sector in addition to government sector (representation of DEFRA ).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Defra Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN) 
Organisation National Institute of Agronomy and Botany (NIAB)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The undersigned lead PI on the 'Germplasm Resources Unit' National Capability grant (BBS/E/J/000PR8000) is a member of the PCGIN management team to support any aspect directly linked to the germplasm supply and germplasm curation in planning and running of PCGIN and its network activities. A central goal of the tight collaboration is to correctly plan activities related to future custodianship and distribution of germplasm arising from PCGIN activities and to increase PCGIN future positive impact on legume use in agriculture through long term curation and provision via the GRU
Collaborator Contribution The Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN), funded by Defra, is a platform that serves the process of legume crop improvement in the UK. It establishes the route by which scientific resources, results and knowledge are delivered to breeders, producers and end users, providing a link between these groups and the research base to achieve added value for pulse crops. It provides resources, expertise and understanding that are drawn upon by both public and commercial sectors in breeding, analysis, and in the definition and improvement of product quality relating to both commercial and public goods. It promotes and executes the translation of genomic research tools to crop improvement, consistent with both the needs of UK industry, and Defra objectives relating to sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it provides links with, and involvement in, European pulse crop research programmes. Crop diversification and lowering inputs are major drivers for sustainable agricultural policy. Pulse crops can contribute positively to these two policy goals because, as a consequence of biological nitrogen fixation, they require minimal inputs and are less environmentally polluting that other crops such as cereals or brassicas. They act as a very effective break crop in our cereal dominated rotation. However, there is a need to make legume crops more attractive to farmers, and to increase the market value of their product. These two are the major strands of PCGIN research activity. Limitations to growing pulse crops in rotations are being addressed through research aimed at improving crop performance and reliability. The genetic basis for agronomic traits such as standing ability, yield and disease will be established. Pulse crops are also an efficient source of plant-derived protein for food and animal feed. Increasing the market value of seed products will depend on genetic studies that define and underpin the traits that limit seed quality.
Impact Main output include the improvement of member knowledge which allow better germplasm circulation within PCGIN including swift and full fulfilment of the legal and phytosanitary needs. The collaboration is multidisciplinary as member of the management team include seed quality scientists in addition to phytologists, plant physiologists, geneticists, growers and breeders from the public and the private sector in addition to government sector (representation of DEFRA ).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Defra Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN) 
Organisation Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The undersigned lead PI on the 'Germplasm Resources Unit' National Capability grant (BBS/E/J/000PR8000) is a member of the PCGIN management team to support any aspect directly linked to the germplasm supply and germplasm curation in planning and running of PCGIN and its network activities. A central goal of the tight collaboration is to correctly plan activities related to future custodianship and distribution of germplasm arising from PCGIN activities and to increase PCGIN future positive impact on legume use in agriculture through long term curation and provision via the GRU
Collaborator Contribution The Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN), funded by Defra, is a platform that serves the process of legume crop improvement in the UK. It establishes the route by which scientific resources, results and knowledge are delivered to breeders, producers and end users, providing a link between these groups and the research base to achieve added value for pulse crops. It provides resources, expertise and understanding that are drawn upon by both public and commercial sectors in breeding, analysis, and in the definition and improvement of product quality relating to both commercial and public goods. It promotes and executes the translation of genomic research tools to crop improvement, consistent with both the needs of UK industry, and Defra objectives relating to sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it provides links with, and involvement in, European pulse crop research programmes. Crop diversification and lowering inputs are major drivers for sustainable agricultural policy. Pulse crops can contribute positively to these two policy goals because, as a consequence of biological nitrogen fixation, they require minimal inputs and are less environmentally polluting that other crops such as cereals or brassicas. They act as a very effective break crop in our cereal dominated rotation. However, there is a need to make legume crops more attractive to farmers, and to increase the market value of their product. These two are the major strands of PCGIN research activity. Limitations to growing pulse crops in rotations are being addressed through research aimed at improving crop performance and reliability. The genetic basis for agronomic traits such as standing ability, yield and disease will be established. Pulse crops are also an efficient source of plant-derived protein for food and animal feed. Increasing the market value of seed products will depend on genetic studies that define and underpin the traits that limit seed quality.
Impact Main output include the improvement of member knowledge which allow better germplasm circulation within PCGIN including swift and full fulfilment of the legal and phytosanitary needs. The collaboration is multidisciplinary as member of the management team include seed quality scientists in addition to phytologists, plant physiologists, geneticists, growers and breeders from the public and the private sector in addition to government sector (representation of DEFRA ).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Defra Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN) 
Organisation University of Reading
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The undersigned lead PI on the 'Germplasm Resources Unit' National Capability grant (BBS/E/J/000PR8000) is a member of the PCGIN management team to support any aspect directly linked to the germplasm supply and germplasm curation in planning and running of PCGIN and its network activities. A central goal of the tight collaboration is to correctly plan activities related to future custodianship and distribution of germplasm arising from PCGIN activities and to increase PCGIN future positive impact on legume use in agriculture through long term curation and provision via the GRU
Collaborator Contribution The Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN), funded by Defra, is a platform that serves the process of legume crop improvement in the UK. It establishes the route by which scientific resources, results and knowledge are delivered to breeders, producers and end users, providing a link between these groups and the research base to achieve added value for pulse crops. It provides resources, expertise and understanding that are drawn upon by both public and commercial sectors in breeding, analysis, and in the definition and improvement of product quality relating to both commercial and public goods. It promotes and executes the translation of genomic research tools to crop improvement, consistent with both the needs of UK industry, and Defra objectives relating to sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, it provides links with, and involvement in, European pulse crop research programmes. Crop diversification and lowering inputs are major drivers for sustainable agricultural policy. Pulse crops can contribute positively to these two policy goals because, as a consequence of biological nitrogen fixation, they require minimal inputs and are less environmentally polluting that other crops such as cereals or brassicas. They act as a very effective break crop in our cereal dominated rotation. However, there is a need to make legume crops more attractive to farmers, and to increase the market value of their product. These two are the major strands of PCGIN research activity. Limitations to growing pulse crops in rotations are being addressed through research aimed at improving crop performance and reliability. The genetic basis for agronomic traits such as standing ability, yield and disease will be established. Pulse crops are also an efficient source of plant-derived protein for food and animal feed. Increasing the market value of seed products will depend on genetic studies that define and underpin the traits that limit seed quality.
Impact Main output include the improvement of member knowledge which allow better germplasm circulation within PCGIN including swift and full fulfilment of the legal and phytosanitary needs. The collaboration is multidisciplinary as member of the management team include seed quality scientists in addition to phytologists, plant physiologists, geneticists, growers and breeders from the public and the private sector in addition to government sector (representation of DEFRA ).
Start Year 2018
 
Title SeedStor: A Germplasm Information Management System and Public Database 
Description SeedStor (https://www.seedstor.ac.uk) acts as the publicly available database for the seed collections held by the Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU) based at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. SeedStor is a fully searchable system that allows our various collections to be browsed species by species through to complicated multipart phenotype criteria-driven queries. The results from these searches can be downloaded for later analysis or used to order germplasm via our shopping cart. The user community for SeedStor is the plant science research community, plant breeders, specialist growers, hobby farmers and amateur gardeners, and educationalists. Furthermore, SeedStor is much more than a database; it has been developed to act internally as a Germplasm Information Management System that allows team members to track and process germplasm requests, determine regeneration priorities, handle cost recovery and Material Transfer Agreement paperwork, manage the Seed Store holdings and easily report on a wide range of the aforementioned tasks. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Internally, embedding SeedStor in the GRU work routines allow the team members and GRU manager to track and process of germplasm requests much more efficiently then before. It helps to determine plant regeneration priorities in an accurate manner and to handle cost recovery and Material Transfer Agreement paperwork swiftly. Service was improved as users can easily brows the collections and search for their accession of interest. SeedStor code is currently used in collaborative effort to enable future computerised use of the stored information for the use of Developing Future Wheat consortium 
URL https://www.seedstor.ac.uk/
 
Description A poster and stand in a Genetics Society Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The GRU has presented an Exhibition stand at Gen Soc 100yrs celebration. We have counted over 50 participants who came to discuss the presented work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://genetics.org.uk/centenary/centenary-scientific-meeting/
 
Description A regional event ran by the Royal Norfolk Agriculture association 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The GRU presented an exhibition stand to outreach to thousands of school children (year 4 - year 9), their parents, teacher and the regional community. The importance of Plant conservation for future food security was the key message.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://springfling.rnaa.org.uk/
 
Description Artistic Film Crew featured the gene-bank routines in a global context 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A film called Precarious Seed, an artistic documentary ork on seed preservation around the globe followed the GRU routine. The final product was yet to be produced.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description CAAS AGIS Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact To improve the GRU strategic global partnership, we have partisipated in hosting a group of leading scientists from AGIS CAAS at Shenzhen China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Dorothea de Winton Opening 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The GRU has organised Field talk and a presentation as part of the opening event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/event/dorothea-de-winton-field-station-official-opening/
 
Description Flying farmers group visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A visit of the flaying farmer association to the GRU as part of a JIC day visit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Kew-JIC Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Genomics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20 scientists and post doctoral doctoral/ post graduate levels from Kew Science and JIC engaged in two-days workshop to disscuss possible collaboration and enhance networks around the theme of Crop Wild Relatives study, conservation and exploitation for public good.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Master student course visit and training 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact There is an MSc program in plant breeding and genetics taking place in JIC.
1. The PL in this Grant lectured in the topic of plant germplasm curation and genetic resources
2. The Students visited the unit and the team conducted a mini workshop to demonstrate the work and impact of genebank and to exemplify the existing diversity in the GRU collections
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Norwich Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norwich Science Festival took place 18-26 October 2019,with nine days of inspirational exhibitions, sensational shows and an abundance of hands-on science activities for all ages and all levels of knowledge; plus a dedicated learning programme for schools, youth groups and home-educated learners.As part of the participation of the Jhon Iness Centre centralised by the communication team the GRU chose, grew and supplied plants and seeds relevant to demonstrate the organisation science to the general public
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/
 
Description UK based Bayer agronomist visit to JIC 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact As part of a one day workshop at JIC organised by the Commercialisation and Communication team we gave an overview of the Germplasm Resource Unit was to a group of UK based Bayer agronomist. Germplasm use and handling methods were discussed in addition to practical ways to use our National resources. Chalenges regarding international phytosanitary and custom regulation effecting smooth operation were also discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit of Nottingham Farmers Business Assoc 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A group of 32 farmers has visited the GRU to learn about non-adapted germplasm diversity and use of genebanks for breeding and farming
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit of Sichuan University delegates 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The GRU and best practise of germplasm curation was presented to a delegation from a leading university in China
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visitors from DEFRA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Visit of DEFRA permanent secretary, Clare Moriarty and her entourage in the Germplasm Resource Unit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018