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GRIN Global

Genetic Improvement of Staple Crops and GRIN Global (USDA): USDA has invested considerable resources in cultivating the genetic improvement of staple crops including maize, wheat, and soybeans. In addition to innovative research, USDA, along with other government partners, provided foundational funding for the Maize Genome Database, SoyBase, and GrainGenes, all of which provide researchers globally with the information necessary to address food security concerns.  USDA has also pioneered methods for providing researchers with open access to germplasm information through the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).  GRIN-Global is public domain, freely available software that was initially developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA, with support from the non-governmental organizations Global Crop Diversity Trust (now Crop Trust) and Bioversity International. It is used to manage plant genetic resource collections and genebank workflows. GRIN-Global is based on the plant database of the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), which was used for three decades by USDA-ARS to manage the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). The NPGS curates more than 570,000 accessions of agroeconomically important plants and makes the information about them, as well as the germplasm itself, globally available to plant breeders and other research scientists. GRIN-Global is a flexible and scalable suite of applications that can meet the collection management needs of both small and large genebanks. Its major components include tools for administration, searching, and curation through a Windows client application, and a browser independent public website for publishing the data and receiving requests for germplasm. GRIN-Global was envisioned as an unprecedented opportunity for increased rational worldwide collaboration on the long term collection, conservation, and documentation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. This global partnership is being realized as the national collections in several countries, as well the International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT), are also currently using GRIN-Global. Numerous other collections are moving toward adopting GRIN-Global and/or are evaluating it. We hope to participate in a global community dedicated to building best practices for genetic resource conservation, collaborative software development, and open data sharing for the public good. For more information about the GRIN-Global project please visit: