|Authors: ||D. Benediková, D. Giovannini|
|Keywords: ||Prunus spp., questionnaire, collections, characterization, safety duplication|
The Prunus Working Group (WG) was established in 1983 as one of the six selected crop WGs developed within the European Cooperative Programme for Genetic Resources (ECPGR), a network developed to contribute to the more effective conservation and use of plant genetic resources in Europe.
In preparation for the VIII Meeting of the WG, the Delegates of the member countries were asked to fill in a survey questionnaire, aimed to update information on the status of Prunus genetic resources in their countries.
Answers were provided by a total of 64 European institutions (25 private, 36 public and 3 non-governmental) distributed in 20 countries.
More than 22,700 Prunus accessions (mostly cultivars, varieties and landraces originated in Europe) are conserved in ex-situ collections.
Most collections are coordinated and funded within the framework of a National Programme, although insufficient funds for high levels of characterization are rather common problems.
There are even cases of extensive collections threatened of loss by the lack of financial support.
Cherry, chosen by the WG as a model crop to develop the European Prunus DataBase, is represented by the highest number of accessions, followed by European plum, peach and apricot.
Collected accessions are mostly used for breeding purposes, such as increasing fruit quality and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
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