Descriptors for Quinoa and wild relatives

2013 was the International Year of Quinoa, an ancient crop that has been cultivated for centuries in the Andean region and is considered a healthy food due to its high nutritional value. In this context Bioversity International, PROINPA, INIAF, IFAD and FAO released the Quinoa descriptors in three languages:

Descriptors for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and wild relatives
Descriptores para quinua (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) y sus parientes silvestres
Descripteurs pour le quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) et ses espèces sauvages apparentées

This publication is a revision of the original version "Descriptores para quinua" (1981) and expanded to accommodate wild relatives. During the review process, more than 50 quinoa scientists from 11 countries and different organizations provided their expert advice.

Descriptors for Quinoa

Bioversity International encourages the collecting of data for all five types of descriptors:

  • Passport descriptors: Basic information used for the general management of the accession, describing parameters that should be observed when the accession is originally collected, including ethnobotanical information.
  • Management descriptors: Basis for the management of accessions in the genebank and assist with their multiplication and regeneration.
  • Environment and site descriptors describe the environmental and site-specific parameters that are important when characterization and evaluation trials are held.
  • Characterization descriptors enable an easy and quick discrimination between phenotypes.
  • Evaluation descriptors: These types of descriptors include characters such as yield, agronomic performance, stress susceptibilities and biochemical and cytological traits.

Universally understood "language" for plant genetic resources data

This descriptor list provides an international format and thereby produces a universally understood "language" for plant genetic resources data. The adoption of this scheme for data encoding, or at least the production of a transformation method to convert other schemes into the Bioversity format, will produce a rapid, reliable, and efficient means for information storage, retrieval and communication, and will assist with the use of germplasm.