[Science news] - New publication : Global strategy for the conservation and use of Vigna

Fri 26 May

The Global strategy for the conservation and use of Vigna has been published. The strategy aims to provide a framework for the efficient and effective ex situ conservation of globally important collections of Vigna crops and their wild relatives. The initiative to prepare the strategy was led by the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) in collaboration with several institutes and genebanks, including Meise Botanic Garden.

The genus Vigna includes more than 100 wild species and 10 domesticated species cultivated as a vegetable or grain legume crop (beans) for human consumption, mainly in tropical and subtropical climates in Asia and Africa. The Vigna germplasm collections maintained in different genebanks across the world harbor novel genetic resources for research and crop improvement. According to the survey conducted as part of the strategy, 129,903 Vigna accessions were found in global genebanks. Specifically, Meise Botanic Garden holds the most diverse collection of Vigna in terms of number of taxa, but has only a limited number of accessions per taxon.

The proposed strategy suggests several key aims for the years to come : 

  • Further develop and expand the prevailing worldwide collaborations; 
  • Promote regeneration and safety duplication of collections through collaboration with research and breeding institutes; 
  • Genebanks and other institutes should work closely on germplasm characterization and add these data to global databases to identify collection gaps and reduce duplicate holdings;
  • Preserve endangered crop wild relative species, providing support for, and emphasizing the importance of, successful pre-breeding, encouraging the use of crop species belonging to different gene pools that have been neglected in the past;
  • Work towards developing a strong common international platform that assists small genebanks by providing technical and financial support for germplasm conservation;
  • Strengthen in situ conservation of Vigna genetic resources. 

The publication of the Global strategy for the conservation and use of Vigna is expected to provide an evidence base for the global system of ex situ conservation of crop diversity. The outcome of this work is available in open-access form to researchers and people working on conservation and use of plant genetic resources worldwide.


Nair, Ramakrishnan M., Pujar, Mahesh, Cockel, Christopher, Scheldeman, Xavier, Vandelook, Filip, van Zonneveld, Maarten, Takahashi, Yu, Tallury, Shyam, Olaniyi, Oyatomi, & Giovannini, Peter. (2023). Global strategy for the conservation and use of Vigna.