International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Third Cycle

Multi-country Construction of A Test Platform for the Development and Allocation of Unique Identifiers for Rice Germplasm
Where are we working?
World population continues to grow and climate change is contributing to the loss of crop biodiversity. Genebank collections around the world hold the genetic material needed to maintain crop diversity and meet food security challenges. The quality and management of the information associated with the genetic resources held in these collections is as important as the material resources themselves.
Historically, every genebank has had its own system of inventory management. However, without a common standard for identification, interoperability and cooperation are made difficult, posing challenges to conservation, research and breeding.
The assignation of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) as Permanent Unique Identifiers (PUIDs) is a critical step towards unambiguously and permanently identifying plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) and facilitates the exchange of associated information across organizations. The International Treaty’s Global Information System GLIS has implemented DOIs for PGRFA.
This Benefit-sharing project is updating the software and management system of the Indonesian genebank ICABIOGRAD with its large rice collection, as well as developing a plug-in to facilitate the assignation of PUIDs to PGRFA material via a central metadata registry, thereby improving PGRFA exchange and management worldwide.

What are we doing?
  • Software development and testing;
  • Distribution of software to six participating countries;
  • Assignation of DOIs to rice accessions in all six participating countries;
  • Capacity building and training in systems using DOIs;
  • Dissemination of DOI implementation to all stakeholders.

What has been achieved to date?
The toolkit for DOI registration has been developed and tested, and information technology staff trained in its application. As part of the training, DOIs have been assigned to a total of 849 Indonesian rice accessions.
National and international trainings and workshops have been organized to disseminate the DOI system, update rice database systems, and assign DOIs to rice collections. Online consultations have been conducted to further assist participating countries in their DOI implementation. Progress of DOI implementation has been monitored through further workshops in participating countries and possibilities of recruiting other countries for DOI implementation have been identified and are being pursued.
Database managers of the six participating countries have received training in system harmonization and DOI registration. During this training, a total of 1,835 rice accessions were assigned DOIs.
A web portal has been developed to record and share information related to the Project, and make available all rice accessions assigned DOIs as part of this project. The web site is connected to GLIS. The web portal can be accessed at

Who has benefited?
16 rice germplasm database managers in six countries have directly benefited from this project. More importantly, however, rice accessions which have been assigned DOIs are now accessible globally via the GLIS web portal (, and provide benefits to breeders, researchers, farmers and consumers of rice worldwide.

Best practices and success stories
The international training course has been a great success. Participants from the six partner countries gained hands-on experience of the DOI system, empowering them to make full use of all aspects of DOI implementation. The introduction of the system, the updating of the database, and the testing of the software were all conducted at the same occasion, making the training particularly efficient. The follow-up workshops were very useful in monitoring DOI implementation, and its expansion to other crops than rice.
Window 3 - Co-development and Transfer of Technology project
Region: Asia
Target Countries: Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Zambia
Implementing institution: IRRI & ICABIOGRAD

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