Biotech Updates

Germplasm Resources Information Network Launched

February 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in collaboration with Biodiversity International and the Global Crop Diversty Trust, has launched the Germplasm Resources Information Network-Global (GRIN-Global). It is an Internet-based information management system for the world's plant genebanks.

USDA Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki announced the germplasm network at a White House event on Innovation for Global Development. "Innovation in agriculture is central to global development," Woteki said. "For agricultural genebanks, researchers and producers worldwide, GRIN-Global provides a powerful information tool to safeguard and utilize invaluable crop diversity." 

Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, added that "Plant breeders turn to genebanks for this diversity, whether they are searching for pest resistance or drought tolerance or any other characteristic. How the seeds and the associated information are managed is therefore of huge importance to that breeding effort. USDA's genebank management software is the best in the world, and GRIN-Global now makes this technology available for free to genebanks everywhere. This is real innovation for development."

More information on the network is available at