The realization that the world was rapidly losing much of its agrobiodiversity led to a global effort to collect and conserve germplasm. An increasing awareness of the narrow genetic base of crops in advanced agriculture and potential susceptibility to crop failures further stimulated the efforts to collect, and in 2010 a system of national and international genebanks eventually amassed holdings of 7.4 million accessions in 1750 genebanks worldwide.

The great success of this collecting phase has presented new challenges to curators to determine needs for new collections, maintain existing collections, determine optimum regeneration methods, characterize collections for useful agronomic traits, classify the collections, and reduce the size of the working collection to a manageable size. In all of these aspects of PGR management marker techniques are useful tools to supplement traditional approaches.

An overview of molecular marker applications in various aspects of PGR management is presented by the below-mentioned reference. In addition, applications are illustrated by several CGN studies in the next section of this website.

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