On 22-23 March 2017 the first annual meeting of the EU Horizon 2020 funded collaborative project IMAGE took place in Göttingen (Germany). WUR-ABG and CGN were well represented with four staff members and two PhD-candidates.
IMAGE (Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources) is a unique European collaborative project of 28 partners, including 3 non-European partners. The aim of the project is to enhance the use of genetic collections and upgrade animal gene bank management of both widely used commercial and threatened local breeds. More specifically, the objectives are to characterise in situ populations and ex situ collections, develop innovative reproductive and conservation technologies and develop and improve conservation and introgression strategies. The synergy between gene banks and live population management is a crucial issue that will be addressed by the project.
Plans for 2017
The meeting was kicked off by leaders of each work package (WP), including ir. Sipke Joost Hiemstra (WP2: genebank functioning and access transparency) and dr. ir. Hendrik-Jan Megens (WP4: genomic characterisation of collections), presenting the progress made so far. Results were shared in more detail in specific WP meetings along with plans for future collaboration.
The second day started with a PhD session, during which Harmen Doekes presented his project and first results on genetic diversity in Dutch Holstein Friesian dairy cattle over time and Chiara Bortoluzzi gave a talk entitled “Unravelling the demographic and genetic complexity of traditional Dutch chicken populations”. Both presentations were well received and followed by an interesting discussion.
The overall meeting was a success and well organised. We are looking forward to the next annual meeting in Vienna (Austria) and further collaboration with the different partners. The end of the project is foreseen in 2020.
More information on IMAGE can be found on the project’s website.