Samples of 100-200 seeds are made available to users for the purpose of food and agriculture under the terms and conditions of the standard material transfer agreement (sMTA) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Plant breeding companies and research institutes are the main users of CGN’s spinach collection.

Spinach belongs to CGN’s most requested collections. Between 1988 and January 2020, CGN has distributed a total of 13,369 spinach seed samples for external use. This number corresponds to an average distribution of more than 400 seed samples per year and to approximately 26 times the current collection size. The collection has proven its value for crop improvement as novel disease resistances found in CGN accessions have formed the basis for the development of new cultivars. DNA resequencing is planned for accessions of S. turkestanica and S. tetrandra in the context of a collaborative project between CGN, WUR and several breeding companies, entitled ‘Exploitation of crop wild relatives for more sustainable and healthier spinach’.