Quality of core collections for effective utilisation of genetic resources review, discussion and interpretation

Odong, T.L.; Jansen, J.; Eeuwijk, F.A. van; Hintum, T.J.L. van


Definition of clear criteria for evaluation of the quality of core collections is a prerequisite for selecting high-quality cores. However, a critical examination of the different methods used in literature, for evaluating the quality of core collections, shows that there are no clear guidelines on the choices of quality evaluation criteria and as a result, inappropriate analyses are sometimes made leading to false conclusions being drawn regarding the quality of core collections and the methods to select such core collections. The choice of criteria for evaluating core collections appears to be based mainly on the fact that those criteria have been used in earlier publications rather than on the actual objectives of the core collection. In this study, we provide insight into different criteria used for evaluating core collections. We also discussed different types of core collections and related each type of core collection to their respective evaluation criteria. Two new criteria based on genetic distance are introduced. The consequences of the different evaluation criteria are illustrated using simulated and experimental data. We strongly recommend the use of the distance-based criteria since they not only allow the simultaneous evaluation of all variables describing the accessions, but they also provide intuitive and interpretable criteria, as compared with the univariate criteria generally used for the evaluation of core collections. Our findings will provide genebank curators and researchers with possibilities to make informed choices when creating, comparing and using core collections