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What do we mean by accession?
In the world of plants the word is mainly used within gene banks. They collect samples, mostly seeds, but also plants and plant material in various forms, and obviously need a system to identify each sample, each physical item. So they have various kinds of accession number series. There even is a lot of efforts being made to try to standardize these systems across national borders and traditions, so that exchange globally becomes easier. The main standard is called Multicrop Passport Descriptors (MCPD), with the latest revision in 2015 (se FAO).
KVANN is not a gene bank, but needs to develop a system to track how plant material is spread among members. KVANN sprung out of an initiativ from Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre from 2005/6 onwards, and as long as KVANN fulfills the objective of that institution to keep old varieties in active use, we have a unique role within this work nationally. But: we have to be able to track and stop spreading of diseases, and to do so we have a very similar situation as every gene bank: we need to give each plant or each seed that enters our system, thats what an accession is, a unique accession number.
We have just startet the accession number series with 1 for this test (with some 0000 in front to make it look important), but we are open for suggestions.
An accession is a concrete physical piece of plant material, either seed or vegetative material entering the organization at a given date and with a known source.
Preferably the variety name and other properties should be known, if possible, such as (cf. suggested data fields):
- historical data
- parent varieties
- known traits
What to do with it
- Register it. This means that a line in the accession table is created with a unique accession number so it exists at all in the system and can be referred to.
- Activate it. This happens when a member adds the accesion to her member profile Plants page. Now she and every other member visiting her profile can see what she has.
- Share it. This is when she clicks the “I currently share” button (seeds and/or plants) in her Plants page, visible also in the catalogue.
So the accession data is the corner stone in the user data of the system, and everything else builds upon it.