Many new technologies highly relevant to the PGR community have become available over the past years, especially in the fields of genomics and information technology. The effect of the second category of technologies on the ex situ manage-ment of plant genetic resources is explored. After a low initial level of standardization in genebank documentation systems, a strong increase of access and exchange of infor¬mation could be observed. Important elements behind this increase are standardiza¬tion - creating the possibility to interpret each others information - and web services - creating the possibilities for machines to access each others information via the internet. Some aspects of these developments such as the application of ontologies, persistent identifiers and anticipated developments such as the increased use of open source software, are presented. Also for the user of PGR and associated information many improvements can be foreseen. Ongoing developments include on-line querying and ordering facilities, and trait prediction. A final element that will be described is the development of virtual genebanks: thanks to IT tools, the management of PGR and the interfaces to these PGR can be decoupled. As a result, anyone can develop a website giving access to PGR, including the possibility to order material in one or more genebanks anywhere in the world.
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