Webinar: Plant Genetic Resources for food security

ISHS Secretariat
Webinar: Plant Genetic Resources for food security

Plant Genetic Resources for food security
Moderator Prof. Dr. Jorge Canhoto
(University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Date: 23 September (17:00 CEST - Brussels/Paris/Rome time-zone)


  • Dr. Ana Maria Barata (Portuguese Germplasm Bank - Portugal):
    Seeds from the past: their role in present food security
  • Dr. Gayle Volk (USDA - Colorado - USA):
    Cryopreservation of fruit crops in the USDA-National Plant Germplasm System
  • Prof. Miguel Pedro Guerra (Univ of Santa Catarina, Brazil):
    From the forest to the bench: appropriate biotechnologies for the domestication of Feijoa sellowiana, a native myrtaceae from South Brazil

This webinar has ended - the video recording of this webinar is available below for on-demand viewing

Plant biodiversity is crucial for plant biotechnology and plant breeding. For many years plant breeding was based on crosses between similar plants followed by selection of the best genotypes. The advances in molecular biology have changed this paradigm and plant breeding can now benefit from genes taken from any organism.
For this webinar we have invited three specialists that will present their research on the field of plant biodiversity and biotechnology and will share their views how (plant) biodiversity is crucial to deal with the challenge of feeding a world plenty of people.

Ana Maria Barata has a degree in Agronomy from the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (Lisbon) and a Master's in the same area (University of Missouri, USA). Head of the Portuguese Genebank - Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal (BPGV) since 1997. Focusing mainly on ex situ and in situ conservation and the enhancement of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. BPGV is the national and international reference structure for the conservation of plant genetic resources, in Portugal, is part of the National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinary Research (INIAV), the State Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture. For more than four decades (1977-2021) BPGV has contributed to the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources, ensuring biological diversity and supporting current and future sustainable agricultural production. National Focal Point for Plant Genetic Resources of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture – FAO. Chair of the Working Group on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants of the European Cooperative Program Genetic Resources (ECPGR). Author and co-author of book chapters and technical-scientific articles on the conservation of plant genetic resources, published in national and international journals. Coordinates and participates in IE&D projects supported by various national and international programs.

Gayle Volk graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Biochemistry, received an M.S. in Horticulture from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Cornell University in 1998. She has been a Plant Physiologist with the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (Fort Collins, CO) for 21 years. Her interdisciplinary research program uses molecular data to assess and capture diversity in the USDA National Plant Germplasm System apple collection and she coauthored "The Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Apple Genetic Resources". She also develops and implements methods to preserve clonally propagated fruit and vegetable collections using shoot tip and dormant bud cryopreservation technologies. In addition, she is co-coordinating an effort to develop freely available training materials for plant genebanking. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Gayle is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with students and researchers from around the U.S. and world to conserve plant genetic diversity.

Miguel Guerra, full Professor of the Graduate Program in Plant Genetic Resources of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Research activities associated to the use of appropriate biotechnologies for the characterization, improvement and conservation of native plant genetic resources from Brazilian biomes.

plant genetic resources