India gets its PGR data online

by Luigi Guarino on January 8, 2013

nbpgrI’m not entirely sure how we missed that data on India’s enormous germplasm collection is now online. While this is welcome, I think it’s fair to say that NBPGR’s PGR Portal still needs some work in terms of user experience. It took me a while to figure out, for example, that if you type a letter under “Crop/Plant Name,” in Passport or in Characterization and Evaluation Search, you get a list of crops beginning with that letter, which you can then choose from.1 Once you do that you get a list of taxonomic names to choose from, but you can only select one at a time to do your search. And why no rice data at all? There is a nice way of looking at the distribution of different character states for each characterization and evaluation descriptor, but no mapping facility. And you can’t use the portal to order germplasm. To do that you have to fill in a form, which makes no mention of the International Treaty on PGRFA or its SMTA, and email it in. And there are some funny restrictions on use: “All users can search and see the desired information. only registered users can copy and download.” But I couldn’t find a way to register. So, good to see, though clearly a work in progress. Will follow its development closely, and hope to see it link up with Genesys in due course, joining the CGIAR, European and US genebanks.

  1. Though maybe I should have read the handy tutorial. []

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