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INRA
24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The Solanaceae Genetic Resources Network

The Solanaceae Genetic Resources Network of seed vegetables has been moderated by the CRB-Leg since 1996. It has allowed the sharing of materials and sharing the burden of maintenance and phenotyping between partners.

A number of vegetable RG have been created since 1996 thanks to the initiative of the Office of Genetic Resources (BRG) that was the French National Coordinator of Genetic Resources in France from 1983 to 2008. The aim of the networks was to involve actors, who held and/or used RG nationally, in order to share materials in collection with each other and also the advantages and associated costs associated with storing, maintaining and securing it on a long-term basis. With state funding being absent, the operating principle of these networks is self-financing by each partner. The GAFL research unit (UR1052) coordinates, since their creation in 1996, the Solanaceae seed vegetables RG network (tomato, eggplant and pepper) as well as the Melon network.

Partners: Partners of the network participating as multipliers or phenotypers are public institutions (INRAE, GEVES Cavaillon and CIRAD Réunion) as well as vegetable seed breeding companies with research and experimentation stations in France. These companies in 2019 were the following: VCo (including Vilmorin and HM-Clause), Gautier Semences, Novagenetic, Rijk Zwaan, Nunhems (Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds), Enza Zaden, Takii France, Sakata France, Syngenta.

The partners are involved as per their requirements, which evolve over time, in the activities of one or two or three species. Two associated partners are responsible for network communication to the general public: - Le potager du Roi[M1]  (Versailles). - The National Horticultural Society of France (SNHF), "vegetable" section.

Collections: The tomato, pepper and eggplant collections are made up of French and foreign varieties as well as wild or related cultivated species, brought by each partner or introduced in the context of network activity. The share of RG brought by INRAE to the network varies from 24% in tomato, to 59% in pepper and 73% in eggplant. The national collections of tomato, pepper and eggplant were defined by each subgroup. They are a subset of the network collections, and consist mainly of traditional French varieties (called "old") and notable broodstock of disease resistances. In 2015, the number of accessions of each collection was the following:

Species

Network collection

National collection

tomato

1146

56

pepper

855

95

eggplant

715

80

INRAE has transfered the national collections of Eggplant to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (http://www.planttreaty.org/fr). The national tomato collection is available online.

(http://w3.avignon.inra.fr/rg_tomate/public/).

Operations: The network operates under the following rules. A technical field visit is organised annually for each species, as well as three meetings (one per subgroup and a plenary meeting for the entire network).

Phenotyping (morphological description) of the material is carried out by INRA for the tomato and GEVES for the eggplant and pepper.

The regeneration of seed (multiplication) is carried out on the basis of 3 to 10 varieties per year per partner, according to pollen isolation rules and plant protection precautions ensuring the health and genetic integrity of the seed. Seeds are stored at 5°C in a dry atmosphere (50% relative humidity). Long term storage (more than 20 years without regeneration) will be implemented gradually at the UR1052 who acquired a cold chamber at -20°C in 2015. Backup duplicates relocated from the RG are stored at multiplier partners for the tomato, at GEVES for pepper and eggplant.

The network carries out few evaluations of the RG for traits of interest such as disease resistance or fruit quality criteria. These activities are subject to specific contracts of seed companies with the UR 1052 research teams.

Databases: Passport information (regarding the identity of each RG), morphological descriptors as well as assessment data available for traits of interest are managed on databases, currently on PosgreASQL for the tomato and on ACCESS for the pepper and eggplant. Improving these bases and their online access methods are programmed, subject to finding funds.

Evolution of the network: The immediate environment of the network has undergone profound changes since 1996. Indeed, the legal status of RG has changed dramatically since the Convention on Biodiversity Rio (1992) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture and Food (2004) and the Nagoya Protocol (2010). Moreover, several seed company partners, due to mergers and successive acquisitions, have become international companies who operate their seed production activities worldwide. Also, the network operating rules that were defined during its creation in 1996 necessitate a rethinking and a redefinition of the objectives of partners in accordance with national and international legislation.