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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Develop, Deploy, and Operate GRIN-Global, the Information Management System for Plant Genetic Resources

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Develop and enhance GRIN-Global with improved features, functions, and linkages to meet customer/client needs for superior user interfaces and to provide the NPGS with expanded capacities to manage genomic, breeding and curatorial information. Objective 2: Deploy and operate GRIN-Global for the genebanks of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS).

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The GRIN-Global software will be enhanced in collaboration with international partners using agreed upon software tools and principles. Short term emphasis will be on improving the features and functions of the Curator Tool that is used by genebank staff, the Administrator Tool that is used by system administrators, and the Public Website used by global researchers. This approach, combined with additional customizations to meet the needs of twenty genebanks in the U.S., will allow ARS to migrate the National Plant Germplasm System from GRIN to GRIN-Global within the first 1-2 years of this project. Efforts can then be expanded to include more long-term enhancements such as expanding the capabilities of the system to curate additional data sets and/or expand collaborations with online molecular and genomic data publishers. All released versions of the software will be made freely available to international partners with ARS providing technical assistance to the maximum extent possible. Training and documentation materials will be developed in a variety of formats to ensure effective transition to, or adoption of, GRIN-Global. The project will provide secure and reliable access to the system by both genebank staff and public users. All hardware and software components of the system will be operated in compliance with, and as approved by, the USDA Certification and Accreditation process for information management systems. The project will also provide a web portal front page to publish information about the USDA National Genetic Resources Programs (NGRP), including valuable animal, microbial, and invertebrate collections. The NGRP page will be displayed in compliance with USDA standards for public web pages. The NGRP page will also serve as a repository for information on the activities of the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council of USDA.

3. Progress Report:
This project was implemented in April 2013 and the progress represents preparations to migrate from GRIN to GRIN-Global as the information management system for the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). That transition will culminate in the conversion to GRIN-Global on September 30, 2013 with the production version (2.0). A pre-production version (1.6) of the software was released to NPGS staff for testing in April 2013. Refinements and enhancements are continuing on both the Curator Tool and the Public Website components of the system. From July through September, 2013 intensive training was provided to NPGS staff to familiarize them with the new system prior to the conversion.

4. Accomplishments
1. GRIN availability as worldwide resource 24/7/365. The GRIN database was available on a nearly 24/7 basis throughout FY 2013. Access to the web pages for GRIN included about 1.6 million visits for the past year, similar to 2012. Our statistics also indicated the average visitor spent 10 minutes at the site and viewed more than 12 different pages. As of June 2013 more than 150,000 germplasm samples have been distributed from the NPGS genebanks, most of them requested on the basis of information made available through GRIN. This ensures timely and comprehensive information on the vast collections of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System are available to researchers worldwide.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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