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Scientist looking at a plant in a glasshouse

Collaboration and utilisation

Working collaboratively with relevant organisations and networks helps to ensure that the UKVGB collections have maximum benefit for society.

Over 300 scientific studies have been published that use our collections. The most recent papers citing our accessions are listed on the publications page.

Warwick Crop Centre ResearchLink opens in a new window

Researchers at the Warwick Crop Centre use seed from the UKVGB collections to help deliver better crops in the future. Find out about some of the different areas they are working on.

Carrots lying on the ground in a field

European Evaluation NetworkLink opens in a new window

The UKVGB is part of a European Evaluation Network (EVA) on vegetable crops.

This is a network of genebanks, researchers and commercial breeding companies who are co-evaluating material from partner genebanks in order to identify useful traits for future breeding programmes.

Two hands wearing blue nitrile gloves examine a Brassica leaf

Using diversity more efficiently

It can take 10-15 years to develop a new crop variety by conventional breeding, particularly if the new variety contains traits from wild species related to the crop.

There are various approaches which can speed this process up; from using genetic markers to tag areas of the genome underpinning useful traits, through to genome editing where targeted changes are made to genes in order to alter traits such as disease resistance.

Understanding what genes underpin a trait like disease resistance can be a complex task in itself - any approach which streamlines this process will help to speed up the use of the diversity in genebank collections in the development of better crops.

Genetic Improvement Networks

The Genetic Improvement Networks are DEFRA funded networks of researchers and stakeholders from the food supply chain. They aim to facilitate the transfer of useful genetic variation from collections of plant genetic resources into new varieties. The UKVGB has supplied material to two networks, VeGIN and OReGIN. UKVGB material has become part of the core resources they have developed. We are an active research partner in the their work.

Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN)Link opens in a new window

Carrot flower

The VeGIN works on vegetable crops, with a current focus on:

  • Brassicas
  • Lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Onion

Oilseed Rape Genetic Improvement Network (OReGIN)Link opens in a new window

Brassica napus flower

The OReGIN focuses on oilseed rape, but also includes related vegetable crop types as sources of new genetic variation.

Arts projects

We also collaborate with those from other disciplines, like artists and poets. This help us to bringing the work we do to new audiences, and get a different perspective on our collections.

Historic projects

Find out about historic projects that the UKVGB has been involved with, and access datasets developed from them.


Find out about networks and organisations that work to conserve genetic diversity.