European Plant Genetic Resources Conference 2011
Wageningen, The Netherlands
April 5-7, 2011

General Information
Practical Information

To Serve and Conserve

genebanks exploring ways to improve service to PGR users and effectiveness of PGR conservation

In April 2011, a European Plant Genetic Resources Conference was held in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

This 3 day meeting was organised as the 20th meeting of the EUCARPIA Section Genetic Resources, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN).

Download the flyer.


The meeting is finished and was a success. The 138 participants from 32 countries had plenary sessions with excellent presentations, discussion group meetings, poster presentations, and an enjoyable social program.

Over the coming weeks additional material will be made available via this site.
- Via the program page all presentations can be downloaded, see: Program
- The group photo (click on the photo to download the large one (3534KB):

- Picasa albums with photos from Guy Ackermans and Liesbeth de Groot.


The meeting was organised with the objective to explore ways to improve service to PGR users and effectiveness of PGR conservation.

The orientation of many genebanks worldwide is within their national genebank community paying too little attention to the users and to actors outside their community. This attitude seriously impaires international genebank collaboration and the utilization of their genetic resources. Therefore the time has come to change the orientation from within the local genebank to the rest of the world. Approaches of properly serving the users and of strengthening collaboration amongst genebanks and other actors will be explored. In this context the quality of the genebank operations plays a crucial role; users must be able to rely on genebanks in terms of availability, authenticity and seed quality of the PGR samples but also in terms of accessibility and reliability of the information supplied. Equally important is that the same elements apply to collaboration between genebanks, before genebanks can start sharing responsibilities, they have to be able to rely on each others quality and have access to each others documentation. Obviously this needs to be done in a transparent international regime of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS).

During the conference, approaches for increasing the service and operational quality have been presented and discussed. In a dialogue with the PGR users, it was explored what the users expect from the genebanks and how genebanks can comply. Similarly, approaches to assure and improve the quality of genebank operations were discussed.


The meeting had the format of a three full day conference including
  • three half days with plenary presentations: one 30 minutes keynote to introduce the topic of that half day, and five 20 minutes presentations around that topic
  • two half-days with discussions in smaller groups (max 25 persons) and reports in plenary
  • permanent poster presentation - posters were introduced by the presenter in plenary with 60 second presentations
  • a half-day excursion
The presentations were partly invited and partly selected based on the posters abstracts received from the registered participants.