European Wheat Database (EWDB) was initiated within a broad activity of IPGRI and ECP/GR in effort to establish a network of Central Crop Databases for all important agricultural crops.
Starting point became the first ECP/GR workshop on wheat genetic resources which was held in Paris in March 1996. Representants of 27 European countries and Israel agreed to contribute and help in establishing EWDB. Collections of wheat have a long tradition in all European countries and most of them are well managed and documented. First estimation on the extend of all European collections is about 220 000 accessions of the genus Triticum L. This is the reason, why the joint management of EWDB in two centers was suggested: GEVES Le Magneraud, Surgeres (France) for EU member-countries and RICP Prague (Czech Republic) for all other European countries.
Many accessions, especially advanced cultivars, in European wheat collections are probable duplicates or multiplicates. But there is also a large amount of landraces or valuable indigenous materials originated in South-East part of Europe, which are not so widely known. EWDB should enable a clear and quick orientation in wheat collections on the European level and indicate the gene bank or institution, where the described plant material is available.
The structure of EWDB tables in a form of relational database has been developed as a result of database managers collaboration. The passport part has been prepared in a first step and characterization/evaluation data will follow. Data incorporated into EWDB will be enlarged according to their further delivery from contributing institutions.
This EWDB version is in accordance with the standardized set of Multi-Crop Descriptors for the passport part, which has been developed jointly by IPGRI and FAO. Some other passport descriptors are used to specify additional information .
Set of characterization and evaluation descriptors consists of 22 basic descriptors at present. Enlargement of the list of characterization/evaluation descriptors is expected for the future.Both database managers are data copmpilers only. Contributors or wheat collection curators are responsible for the data quality.
The EWDB is held on the WWW server of RICP Prague.