About this Resource

Motivation

Rapid population growth, a changing climate, and increasing constraints on land, water, and fertilizer threaten global food security. Canada must dramatically expand agricultural production to meet increased demand and to offset predicted declines in crop yields in tropical and sub- tropical countries. This will require that plant breeding be accelerated in Canada, with the goal of developing high yielding, climate-adapted and “planet friendly” varieties.

In addition to the need to accelerate crop improvement, Canada is a signatory of the Convention for Biological Diversity and the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture. To become fully compliant with the Treaty and other international agreements, we must develop mechanisms for sharing plant germplasm, as well as genotypic, phenotypic, and genomic information.

DivSeek (http://www.divseek.org) is an international initiative that offers a potential pathway forward on both fronts. Divseek aims to accelerate plant breeding by leveraging the genetic diversity in the world’s live collections and seed banks (“genebanks”). This is to be accomplished by developing “a unified, coordinated and cohesive information management platform to provide easy access to genotypic and phenotypic data associated with genebank germplasm.”


Organized by Breeders

Resulting from a Genome Canada Emerging Issues grant led by breeders, the purpose has always been to support breeders as they continue to integrate public data into their breeding programs. This resource was organized and managed by the following Canadian Breeders who were co-principal investigators on the grant for this resource.