The Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN) of Wageningen UR has proven its function in recent years. The diversity of its national farm animal gene bank collections has increased by 15% in the period 2010-2014. Currently the Dutch farm animal gene bank collections contain over 300.000 doses of semen, of about 7000 individuals and 10 farm animal species.
A new program has started for the next period 2015-2019 and priorities have slightly changed. CGN will anticipate major developments in genomics to better characterize gene bank collections and to optimize conservation and breeding programs. Furthermore, CGN will contribute to and lead the collaboration between national gene banks at European level. Finally we will also put more emphasis on collecting genetic material from female animals in addition to semen from males.
The gene bank is an ‘insurance’ for the future and gene bank material is also used today to support the conservation of endangered breeds and for scientific (genomic) research. CGN closely collaborates with breed societies, the breeding industry and the Dutch Foundation for Rare Domestic Animal Breeds (SZH). Besides the development, documentation and distribution of gene bank material, CGN advises breed societies to minimize inbreeding levels and to develop sustainable breeding strategies. In the period 2010-2014 CGN published a substantial number of reports and manuscripts in order to transfer knowledge at national and international level.