Click here to access the current documentation.

The following information on this page is relevant to the earlier stage of the GRIN-Global project.

Main Page

From GRIN-Global Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

GRIN-Global International Help Desk
14 April 2015

The international GRIN-Global help desk, supported by Global Crop Diversity Trust and CIMMYT, is accepting requests for technical support, training information, report bugs, installation support, documentation, etc. Juan Carlos Alarcón, who will be operating this help desk, may be reached at CGIAR/International Helpdesk.

GRIN-Global Interim Version
3 December 2013

The GRIN-Global developers have been updating the Curator Tool and the Public Website with some new features and improved functionality. It is highly recommended that any organization intending to test GRIN-Global use this version. However, there are several caveats:

  • Support for database engines other than MS SQL Server has not been addressed since 1.0.7
  • Language translations need to be updated for the new fields and tables included in the updated schema
  • Many data triggers are needed to handle specific business rules are needed in the Middle Tier. These can be turned on/off depending on site requirements.
  • Crop Trait and Image Wizards have not yet been implemented

For additional details, please read: GRIN-Global 2013 - December Announcement(.pdf)
Also, read: GRIN-Global Installation Guide(.pdf)

GRIN-Global Version 1.5 Announced
8 August 2012

The GRIN-Global developers are currently testing a new schema, “1.5.” The objective for this schema change is to eliminate redundancies existing in GG 1.0 between the accession and inventory tables. The changes will not eliminate any data, but will involve the rearranging of several tables. For details, please read: GRIN-Global 1.5 Announcement(.pdf)
Also: GRIN-Global.pdf Installation Guide(.pdf)

GRIN-Global Version 1.0 Released
14 December 2011

The USDA/ARS, Bioversity International, and the Global Crop Diversity Trust announced the release of GRIN-Global System version 1.0. Please click here for the complete announcement: GRIN-Global 1.0 Announcement(.pdf)


Click here to access the webpages and menu for current documentation and project information. The following information on this page is relevant to the earlier stage of the GRIN-Global project.

The GRIN-Global Project

The GRIN-Global project's mission is to create a new scalable, version of the Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN), used by the USDA/ARS National Plant Germplasm System. The GRIN-Global database platform will be suitable for use by any interested genebank in the world. It is being developed in a joint effort with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bioversity International, and the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA (read the ARS press release). (For information on the Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN) system, see [1].)

Global Crop Diversity Trust Agriculture Research Service United States Department of Agriculture Bioversity International

Goal of the GRIN-Global Project

This project’s goal is to provide the world’s crop genebanks with a powerful, flexible, easy-to-use global plant genetic resource information management system that will constitute the keystone for an efficient and effective global network of genebanks to permanently safeguard plant genetic resources vital to global food security, and to encourage the use of these resources by researchers, breeders, and farmer-producers. By improving the capability of genebanks to provide data to a global accession-level information system under the leadership of Bioversity International, it will be possible to more accurately assess the “State of the World” for plant genetic resources, and to identify priority global needs for plant genetic resource conservation.

Technical Steering Group

A Technical Steering Group (TSG) comprised of eight international stakeholders with expertise in database systems, information management, Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) management, intensive use of PGR-associated information, and representatives of the USDA/ARS, the Global Crop Diversity Trust and Bioversity International has been formed. The TSG’s technical input will be used by project personnel to help formulate critical programmatic decisions and directions, facilitating the design of GRIN-Global to meet the needs of an extremely broad international clientele.

Project Activities and Approaches

USDA/ARS project personnel, with their international partners, will identify features and functionalities required for GRIN-Global. “Use cases” and relevant workflows will be developed to aid this effort. The current GRIN schema will be reviewed to determine required enhancements. Technology providers (including the Bioversity Technical Design Working Group) will be consulted regarding needs, alternative approaches considered, and development of project specifications. Consultations and subsequent refinements to project plans are critical for optimal project progress.

Development Team

A core development team of software developers and database administrators has been assigned full-time to the project, enabling focused effort and project continuity. The core development team personnel are from Bioversity and from Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) / Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The USDA/ARS team is comprised of personnel from these groups:

  • Plant Introduction Research Unit, Ames, IA
  • Database Management Unit (DBMU), Beltsville, MD
  • National Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, OR
  • Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Miami, FL
  • National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility, Aberdeen, ID

Training & Documentation Resources

The training page contains links to a test version of the Curator Tool as well as documentation, training exercises, and videos.
See Training & Documentation.

The pilot Train-the-Trainer workshop was held at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service facilities in Beltsville Maryland, USA, from April 12 through April 23, 2010. 18 international participants learned how to use the GRIN-Global application and offered their comments and suggestions. These participants are training genebank personnel around the world. See Train-the-Trainer, (April, 2010)


The following sample images illustrate some of the functions of the GRIN-Global applications.

Managing Accessions [2] Search Capability [3]
image: ct_arachis_sm.gif image: search_results_grp_sm.gif
Image Searching [4] Shopping Cart [5]
image: acc_detail_sm.gif image: cart_sm.gif

Logo Images Gallery

To download images, click on the blue link below the respective file color choice:

Color Grayscale Black & White
image: GGlogo-color-sm.gif image: GGlogo-grey-sm.gif image: GGlogo-black-sm.gif
Color Grayscale Black & White

System Development Process, Products, and Implementation

During the project, there is an ongoing assessment and improvement of the database and user interface through:

  • iterative programming strategies vetted by TSG and others
  • schema analysis
  • extensive beta-testing by USDA/ARS project and partner personnel at selected sites

Early deployment of advanced prototypes will enable timely deployment of a “Gold Candidate” to selected USDA/ARS and international sites. Software development tools are being chosen based on a balance of cost, performance, security, and support requirements.

The database and interface(s) are designed to accommodate both commercial and open-source programming tools, to be database-flexible, and to require no licensing fees for genebank use. This enables institutions with limited IT resources as well as better-supported genebanks to adopt GRIN-Global.

The database is deployable on local stand-alone computers at sites with limited computational capabilities, as well as at networked sites. A core set of web services, enterprise services, and other technologies are constructed for updating data to be stored on a centralized information management system and for distributing centralized data to existing, off-site systems. This approach enables GRIN-Global to serve either centralized or decentralized genebank networks and to share data with other third parties; if PGR data are not available to the network through a centralized genebank location, they should be readily accessible via other means. Genebanks adopting GRIN-Global can make their information available to regional, crop or global portals, such as GENESYS (see

Bioversity International is supporting the deployment of GRIN-Global internationally through regional PGR networks, its Regional Offices, and the SGRP, working with project personnel to identify cooperators to document the new system in other languages, translate its interface, and deploy it in developing countries. Implementation will be closely monitored to identify any barriers to adoption by developing country genebanks and to adjust GRIN-Global to minimize those barriers. Finally, the impact of system use will be evaluated by users and communicated to the Global Crop Diversity Trust and its partners during, and following, project development.