Selected projects from the Call for Applications 2017: “Support for plant genetic resources collections”

9 Mar 18 Image

Selected projects from the Call for Applications 2017: “Support for plant genetic resources collections”

This call for applications, launched in September 2017, aims to support threatened collections and also to improve conservation conditions and characterisation of plant genetic resources. Eight projects will be funded for approximately €105,000 in the framework of the support measures provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Proposed actions by applicants had to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Conservation of existing collection threatened in short or medium-term,
  • Purchase or improvement of equipment or infrastructures in order to improve management of the collection,
  • Improve knowledge on collection (phenotypic characterisation, molecular characterisation, …).


At the closing of the call for applications on 30 October 2017, 22 projects were received for a budget of around €448,000.  A review commission examined the applications and consulted the relevant technical experts. Following this, at the end of 2017, eight projects were selected for actions which must be carried out during 2018.

Figure 2: Distribution of funding projects by crop type
Figure 1: Distribution of received projects by crop type









List of funding projects:

Fruit trees

Luberon Regional Nature Park

The Biodiversity House on the Thomassine estate manages 15 fruit species composed of 420 varieties. Some of these varieties are old or local varieties, and some others are represented by a single original. To safeguard this biodiversity, funding of the orchard’s protection has been approved as a first step before regenerating the trees.

Agricultural High School of “Pays de Bray”

The Fernand Bazerque Conservatory Orchard, near the castle of Merval, encompasses around 420 varieties of table apples, cider apples or of both purposes. Old or local varieties, which constitute the orchard, have been collected in the area of Pays de Bray. Under the management of the Agricultural High School, trees have been replanted and characterised (apple description, susceptibility to disease, photographic library) and for two years now the orchard has adopted organic farming methods. Funding will support the Agricultural High School in conserving the collection and genetic characterisation of varieties, in order to improve the management of these plant genetic resources.

 Aquitaine Regional Conservatory Orchard

The cherry and plum tree collections at the Aquitaine Regional Conservatory Orchard are showing signs of weakness and of mortality. Funding will help to restore these two collections. It will also be used to conduct genetic characterisation for both collections with a view to improving understanding of these collections and reducing redundancies.

 Berry Apple Society

The conservation orchard for fruit with stones was created in 1993, by collecting accessions in the Berry area from private gardens and former cultivated orchards. This collection gathers 23 varieties with 6 uncommon landraces of cherry tree and 5 uncommon landraces of plum tree linked to Berry region. Reimplantation of the orchard is necessary due to the age of trees in order to save these varieties. This regeneration will allow to improve the description and characterisation of both trees and fruits in more favourable context for cultivation and fruitification. It will also help to develop organoleptic characterisation to promote these varieties, which is essential for securing the long-term conservation of the orchard.



National Forestry Office

The Arboretum of Barres manages 268 botanic rose bushes. The oldest were planted at the end of the 19th century by Maurice de Vilmorin. Today, safeguarding measures have been drawn up for this collection to prevent its decline and extinction. Actions will target the regeneration of plants in nurseries, amendment of soil which has been depleted of nutrients after 100 years of rose bush cultivation, and a reorganisation of this collections with regard to their specific needs and the general landscape.



Hauts-de-France regional centre of genetic resources

This project aims to create a regional collection of Phaseolus coccineus with white seeds from the Hauts-de-France area. This bean has been produced for over a century in the French departments of Aisne and Oise, and its production was rescued in the 2000s by a handful of people using a single strain. The prospection and collection of samples from farms (in situ conservation) in these French departments will help to preserve the existing genetic diversity in the Hauts-de-France region.


Field crop

Arvalis – Institute of plant

The fibre and flax seed collection, which originates from an INRA program, was transferred to ARVALIS in 2010. A first multiplication allowed to regenerate 40% of this collection. In 2014 INRA received freeze-stored doubles of the collection, which could help to regenerate the remainder of the collection. This project will allow ARVALIS to produce a precise overview of the samples received and to plan the future multiplications.



Puy-de-Dôme Wine Federation

The vine conservatory orchard maintains 15 uncommon grape varieties represented by 153 clones which have been collected from Puy-de-Dôme vineyards. To safeguard the existing genetic diversity in this collection, funding has been approved for transferring the collection to a new plot in order to preserve it from urbanisation, disease attacks and conserve it in better pedoclimatic conditions.



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