What are genomic resources?
Article 2 of the CBD defines the term, "genetic resources” to mean “any material of actual or potential value of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity”. In the same logic, Genomic Resources are whole or parts of the genome (DNA) or its functional units (RNA) of actual or potential value. Whereas genetic resources can actually give rise to whole organisms, genomic resources can at best recover traits (directly or indirectly) of these organisms.
Why do we need to conserve genomic resources?
Current research (both routine cloning experiments and genome sequencing projects) generates a lot of genomic resources. These genomic resources are indispensable tools for post-genomic research, be it physiological and morphological characterization of a species or functional analysis of genes or comparative genomics or plant breeding. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain an efficient system for conservation and management of spin-off DNA materials.
Due to the availability of techniques that help characterize and utilize DNA sequences (without the requirement of whole organism), value added products of genebanks can attract new clients involved in allele-mining and cisgenesis, such as molecular biologists and geneticists alongside the traditional plant breeders.
Types of genomic resources
• Cloning vectors, expression vectors, binary vectors, RFLP probes
• Cloned genes, promoters fused to reporter genes
• Sub-genomic, cDNA , EST, repeat enriched libraries
• BAC, YAC, PAC clone set from sequencing projects
• Genomic, mitochondrial or chloroplast DNA
• Cloned DNA from wild and weedy species produced exclusively for the repository
• 1–2 years at 4 °C; 4–7 years at -20 °C and greater than 5 years when stored at -70 °C
• ESTs, full-length cDNAs, BACs, PACs and YACs, are maintained in 96-well or 384-well micro plates at -80°C
• cDNA clones as plasmid DNA at -20°C
• Lyophilized DNA for long-term storage• Ambient temperature storage