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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Serve as the information system for the documentation of plant, insect, animal, and microbial germplasm maintained by the U.S. National Genetic Resources program. Operate and enhance existing databases, create and improve linkages to other genetic resources databases, and share information and technology on documentation of genetic resources collections.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Support will be provided to the existing GRIN databases that serve the National Genetic Resources Program to ensure that they are functional and relevant to the needs of collection managers and curators and to the germplasm user community. Upgrades will be made to the highly specialized application software, as appropriate, to ensure that it remains compatible with hardware upgrades and that it meets the requirements for germplasm maintenance and documentation and information exchange. Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure security of the databases and the data they contain. Develop the next version of the GRIN software as a scalable portable system capable of being transfered to other genebanks in addition to allowing greater interoperability between genetic resources and biodiversity databases.

3. Progress Report
The Database Management Unit (DBMU) of the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory supports National Program 301 by providing a central database for the germplasm collections within the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). This central database provides curator software for managing the collections as well as a portal for public access and ordering of material. An essential task for the DBMU is to maintain near 24/7 availability of the system. A 98% availability target was met. A new application server was purchased and installed. The GRIN system was moved from a 10 Mb commercial internet service provider to the 600 Mb USDA telecommunications network (UTN). In addition to maintaining the servers and current GRIN software, the DBMU is contributing to the development of a new version of the GRIN software (GRIN-Global) with collaborators from ARS, Global Crop Diversity Trust and Bioversity International. This will be a scalable version of GRIN using open source technology to better service the needs of the NPGS and the breeding and research community. In addition it will be made available to interested genetic resource managers worldwide, especially in the developing countries where there is a serious need for a genebank management system. The 2010 phase of the project involved the writing of the base software code, a new version of the public interface and a complete review of the GRIN-Global schema.

4. Accomplishments
1. GRIN Availability. The GRIN database was available on a nearly 24/7 basis throughout 2010. Access to the web pages for GRIN averaged over 1.5 million hits per month for 2010. As of July 2010 more than 118,000 samples of germplasm have been distributed from the NPGS genebanks, most of them requested on the basis of information made available through GRIN.

2. Enhancements to current GRIN. Improvements were made to the existing GRIN curator and public software, including the ability to download an entire evaluation (all traits), improved marker data displays and additional query options on the crop query pages. Hardware and network enhancements include purchase and installation of a new application server and movement from a commercial internet server to the USDA network.

3. Participate in development of GRIN-Global. Most of the efforts of the Database Management Unit (DBMU) have been switched from the existing GRIN system to participating in the GRIN-Global development and deployment efforts. Major efforts of the DBMU have been in web development, schema review, training documentation, installation and testing of the GRIN-Global software.

Last Modified: 08/18/2017
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