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The Index Seminum: Seeds of change for seed exchange

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Botanic gardens have been exchanging seeds through seed catalogues for centuries. In many gardens, these catalogues remain an important source of plant material. Living collections have become more relevant for genetic analysis and derived research, since genomics of non-model organisms heavily rely on living material. The range of species that is made available annually on all seed lists combined, provides an unsurpassed source of instantly accessible plant material for research collections. Still, the Index Seminum has received criticism in the past few decades. The current exchange model dictates that associated data is manually entered into each database. The amount of time involved and the human errors occurring in this process are difficult to justify when the data was initially produced as a report from another database. The authors propose that an online marketplace for seed exchange should be established, with enhanced search possibilities and downloadable accession data in a standardised format. Such online service should preferably be supervised and coordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). This manuscript is the outcome of a workshop on July 9th, 2015, at the European botanic gardens congress "Eurogard VII" in Paris, where the first two authors invited members of the botanic garden community to discuss how the anachronistic Index Seminum can be transformed into an improved and modern tool for seed exchange.
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Keywords: DATABASE; INDEX SEMINUM; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; LIVING COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT; NAGOYA-PROTOCOL; SEED EXCHANGE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Email: [email protected] 2: Botanical Garden – Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway;, Email: [email protected] 3: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département des Jardins Botaniques et Zoologiques, rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris, France 4: University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana, Ižanska cesta 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia 5: Botanical Garden Graz, Graz University, Holteigasse 6, 8010 Graz, Austria 6: MUSE-Science Museum, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, 38122 Trento, Italy 7: Botanic Garden of the University of Potsdam, Maulbeerallee 2, 14469 Potsdam, Germany 8: Botanic Garden Meise, Nieuwelaan 38, 1860 Meise, Belgium 9: Dutch Association of Botanic Gardens (NVBT), Plantage Middenlaan 2e, 1018DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands 10: Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Carl Skottsbergs Gata 22A, 413 19 Göteborg, Sweden 11: Hortus botanicus Leiden, P.O. Box 9500, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands 12: Botanical Garden, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Vienna, Austria 13: Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Straße 6–8, 14195 Berlin, Germany 14: Université Paris 11, Service Environnement et Paysages, 15 Rue Georges Clemenceau, 91400 Orsay, France 15: Rue Georges Clemenceau, 91400 Orsay, France 15 Botanical Software Ltd, 9 Priston, Bath BA2 9EB, U.K. 16: Stavanger Botanic Garden, Rektor Natvig Pedersensvei 9, 4021 Stavanger, Norway 17: Plant Network, Unit 15a, ICT Building, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Birmingham B15 2SQ, U.K. 18: Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Descanso House, 199 Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3BW, U.K. 19: Botanical Garden, University of Salzburg, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria 20: Ringve Botanical Garden, NTNU University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: 03 May 2016

This article was made available online on 03 April 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "The <i>Index Seminum</i>: Seeds of change for seed exchange".

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