Access to crop digital information and the sharing of benefits derived from its use: background and perspectives
During the 900-day siege of Leningrad, from 1942–1944, 11 members of staff at the Soviet genebank for crop plants and their wild relatives starved to death while trying to protect the resources it contained.
The researchers understood the importance of seeds, tubers, buds, and knowledge of their characteristics, and hoped future generations would be able to benefit from their use. Three quarters of a century later, crop diversity – and information about it – remains as valuable to global food security as ever.
High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and emerging ‘phenomic’ approaches have combined with new ways of storing, sharing and analysing data. The changing ways in which the global community produces, accesses and benefits from this information creates opportunities and challenges, which we will explore in a special collection of articles in Plants, People, Planet.
Facilitating discussion about how crop digital information is created and shared, based on informed opinions, will make for productive debates. Ultimately, we hope that these debates will lead to more equitable sharing of benefits, and a more accessible global system of conservation and use, of crop diversity and associated information, for the benefit of everyone.
Our special collection will provide a space for a range of opinions, as well as examples and background information on these complex and challenging topics. To further the conversation, we are seeking submissions across four broad types of article:
- Perspectives and Opinions on genomic and phenomic data and access and benefit sharing that balance not just expertise, but institutional affiliation and geography. Our aim is to facilitate the expression of a broad range of considered opinions, without bias towards particular regions, institution types, or other aspects of background.
- Technical Reviews on the current state-of-the-art for a variety of new technologies that are central to debates about genetic and phenotypic information on plant genetic resources, including gene editing, genomic selection, high-throughput phenomics, and pertinent information systems. Of particular interest would be articles that discuss the application of these technologies for crop development, and related issues with regard to access and benefit sharing.
- Historical perspectives, such as those on past agreements, on previous collections, and on the essential roles of particular institutions, such as botanic gardens and CGIAR centres in crop improvement and the implementation of access and benefit sharing.
- Case studies on plant genetic resources and genetic or phenomic data for particular crops. Ideally, these should reflect more than one dimension, e.g. data collection, storage, access and use, value extraction, possible and actual commercial applications, and benefit-sharing.
The guidelines and article types stipulated above are flexible. Contributions can be submitted to this collection under our research, review, opinion and Brief Report categories. However, if the article you have in mind doesn’t quite fit, or if you have any questions please contact us, and we will be able to help.
We welcome submissions from the community by 31 October 2020. Please contact us if you have questions or a potential manuscript that you’d like to discuss.
With best wishes,
Colin Khoury and Eric von Wettberg
Guidelines and submission procedure
Plants, People, Planet, published by the not-for-profit New Phytologist Trust, is an Open Access journal that aims to celebrate everything new, innovative and exciting in plant-based research that is relevant to society and people’s daily lives.
Papers submitted for consideration in Plants, People, Planet will be subject to peer review and must meet the aims and scope of the journal. All articles must include an engaging 100-word Societal Impact Statement to illustrate why the work matters to people, society and the planet.
Please refer to the full Author guidelines before submission, which contain information on article types and format, as well as details on how to compile the electronic version of your manuscript. Please contact us if you have questions or a potential manuscript that you’d like to discuss.
Submission procedure: Please submit your manuscript online.
Submission deadline: 31 October 2020