Genesys is a free online portal which allows people to explore the world’s collected crop diversity through a single website. With just a few clicks, users can find information on seeds and other types of crop samples coming from, and conserved in, nearly every country in the world. The site allows hundreds of genebanks to share their data, according to agreed standards, in a single portal.
The Genesys project was launched in 2008. It has since developed into the plant breeding and research community’s established tool for exploring genetic diversity worldwide.
Genesys is different because it brings together information on millions of accessions stored in genebanks across the world into one easy-to-use portal. Rather than trawling through multiple individual databases, people are able to simultaneously search hundreds of genebank collections with a single search term or filter. This makes this essential preliminary work more efficient, freeing up more time for important research.
With 2.8 million accession records stored in the portal, Genesys is the largest resource of its kind in the world.
Genesys brings together some of the world’s largest databases of individual genebanks (the US National Plant Germplasm System and the CGIAR genebanks) and plant genetic resource networks (EURISCO, the European Plant Genetic Resources Search Catalogue).
Each of these networks incorporates numerous institutions and many more individual networks – for example, the 1.1 million accessions provided by EURISCO come from research centers, genebanks and institutions across Europe.
In addition, many individual genebanks, research institutions and smaller networks have also uploaded their collection information to the portal to share with the world.
Yes, many of the seeds (and other types of planting material) whose data is shared through Genesys are available on request from the holding genebank. When this is the case, there may be a link to request material directly from the accession page.
Genesys is a completely free resource – free to join and free to use.
The amount and detail of data on Genesys is constantly expanding. It is updated as and when networks, institutions and genebanks join the community, add material to their collections, and enrich the data available about their material.
Genesys is supported by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is funded by the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund. National governments the world over are the largest contributors to this fund.
Genesys is used by two distinct but related groups of people.
On the one hand, there are the genebanks, institutes and research centers who use Genesys to upload information to the portal.
Then, there are those who use Genesys to inform their own work – breeders, researchers, and policymakers – and who are able to make the most of Genesys’s powerful search tools.