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Last update: May 2021

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The animal pillar is involved in the IMAGE research project

European H2020 IMAGE project
The IMAGE project for "Innovative Management of GEnetic resources" brings together 28 partners including 4 non-European institutions. Its aim is to improve the quality and socio-economic value of genetic resources conserved by cryobanks and biological resource centers for farm animals. It relies on genomics and bioinformatics to better characterize these resources and rationalize their conservation.
Context and issues

IMAGE responds to the topic SFS-7-2014/2015 "Genetic resources and agricultural diversity for food security, productivity and resilience". The European States invest in cryobanks whose operation should be harmonized and whose quality and use of conserved resources should be improved, for the development of sustainable breeding. The opening to third countries was encouraged. The experience acquired with the PIA CRB-Anim was an obvious asset that allowed INRA to take the initiative to coordinate the response to the topic SFS-7-2014/2015 with a final submission on June 12, 2015.

Results

Initially thought in partnership with the WUR, the consortium has gradually grown to associate 11 universities, 9 research institutions, 3 SMEs and 3 NGOs from 14 European countries, to which are added FAO, INRA Transfert, but also 2 North African countries (Egypt, Morocco) and 2 South American countries (Argentina, Colombia). It was accepted for a total budget of €7M and started on March 1, 2016. The work program includes: 1 workpackage (WP) dedicated to stakeholder involvement and socio-economic issues (coordination Austria) , 1 WP dedicated to the operation of cryobanks and CRBs (coordination Netherlands), 1 WP dedicated to reproductive biotechnologies, in particular in chicken and pig (coordination INRA), 1 WP dedicated to the production and analysis of genomic data, in particular for bovine, sheep, pigs and poultry (chicken) (Netherlands coordination), 1 work package dedicated to data integration and the provision of a toolbox for breeders (Italy coordination), 1 work package dedicated to methodological developments in population genetics (Germany coordination), 1 work package for dissemination and training (Portugal coordination) and 1 work package for management (INRA and INRA Transfert coordination)
The kick-off meeting gathered 50 participants from 12 countries on May 19-20, 2016 in Paris.  It allowed each of the 7 research WPs to specify its actions for the 1st year.

Perspectives

The impacts of IMAGE are expected at 3 levels:
    - Scientific: search for adaptive traits in local populations and identification of unfavorable variants at the origin of inbreeding depression, prediction of fertility of gametes stored in cryobank.
    - Technological: harmonization of sample banking protocols and rationalization of collections, facilitated access to multiple data sources.
    - Applied: protocols for reintroducing diversity into populations, assignment of individuals or their products to a breed, implementation of ABS regulations.

See also

References bibliographiques

Tixier-Boichard M., 2016. IMAGE: a project for animal genetic resources. Pan European Networks – Special report

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