Germinate 3: development of a common platform to support the distribution of experimental data on crop wild relatives
Conservation and exploitation of crop wild relative species is an important component in ensuring food security and improving current agricultural output. By identifying agriculturally important characteristics that express favorable response to both biotic and abiotic stress currently unused by breeders, the incorporation of this new genetic material into genetic background stocks may help mitigate problems imposed by climate change, land degradation, and population pressure. This is particularly important in countries that will be more severely affected by the threat of reduced yields. The ability to effectively manage genetic resources collections and integrate unique and diverse data types is crucial in exploring, understanding, and exploiting the diversity contained within genebanks. Providing a common interface through which experimental and background data can be disseminated to both researchers and breeders will bring focus and facilitate community building into research communities. We have taken wild barley (Hordeum spp.) and potato (Solanum spp.) collections along with wheat (Triticum spp.) and maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) and their wild relatives and incorporated this data into web-based information resources built using the Germinate platform (https://ics.hutton.ac.uk/get-germinate, accessed 4 Apr. 2017). We have tailored these to better meet the demands of researchers by developing both new data visualization tools and integration with current software such as Helium, Flapjack, and CurlyWhirly (https://ics.hutton.ac.uk/software, accessed 4 Apr. 2017) and presented the data in a common platform. While the underlying species differ, the approach taken ensures that tools are compatible across all database instances. We will describe these database instances and show that Germinate offers a common platform that will aid in the exploration and wider use of these species.