The European Commission has selected the IMAGE project (Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources) for grant preparation and funding by the Horizon-2020 programme. The IMAGE project – coordinated by INRA in France – received a very high score from the reviewers. IMAGE is a unique European collaborative project of 28 partners, including 3 non-European partners. Wageningen UR will be represented in IMAGE by the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre (ABGC) and the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN).
The aim of IMAGE is to upgrade animal gene bank management and to enhance the use of genetic collections. IMAGE will enhance the accessibility of collection information and will improve the quality of gene bank collections. Genetic diversity in gene bank collections and live populations will be analysed using dense SNP marker and sequence information. Methods and software for better conservation and use of genetic diversity will be further improved making use of dense marker information. Besides genetic aspects, IMAGE will also further improve cryoconservation and reproduction technologies for different farm animal species.
A variety of stakeholders (gene banks, breeding organisations, science, NGOs) participate in IMAGE. The IMAGE project is very important for strengthening of the gene bank infrastructure in Europe and for the conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources at European level. IMAGE will have a valuable contribution to the development of the EUGENA network (European Gene Bank Network for AnGR).