Unlocking the Potential of Plant Genetic Resources with Genome-Wide Prediction

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The International Day of Biological Diversity 2024,’ themed “Be part of the plan”, reflects how ICARDA’s genebanks are bio-digital resource centers where useful traits within plant genetic resources are selected according to predictions of their performance.

Genebanks around the world conserve precious and unique samples of the natural biodiversity that are vital for developing crops that can withstand tomorrow’s climate impacts. Yet, connecting the dots between these genetic resources and their climate-smart performance in the field often remains challenging and slow, making it difficult to develop varieties that are more efficient, more resistant to pests and diseases, and more tolerant to climate change before the challenges have further evolved.

On 22 May, as the world marks the International Day for Biological Diversity 2024 under the theme “Be part of the plan”, ICARDA is actively working on bridging information gaps in genebanks to speed up and laser-focus crop research.

Playing a crucial role in the implementation of the Biodiversity Plan, designed to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity, ICARDA is turning its genebanks from bank-like depositories for germplasm, into active bio-digital resource centers where scientists and breeders can now select genetic resources according to predictions of their performance.

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