We organized last week (9 to 13 January 2012) a workshop in Madrid (Spain) on predictive characterization using the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS) for wild relatives to the cultivated plants (crop wild relatives). This workshop was part of the EU funded PGR Secure project  (EU 7th framework programme). The objective of this workshop was to use predictive computer modeling with R  for data mining (trait mining) to identify genebank accessions and populations of crop wild relatives with a higher density of genetic variation for a target trait property (response, independent variable) using climate data and other environment data layers as the explanatory or independent multivariate variables. We have previously validated the FIGS approach for landraces of wheat and barley . This study was one of the first attempts to validate the FIGS approach for other crops as well as for crop wild relatives (CWR). The crop landraces and crop wild relatives included in this study was: Oats (Avena sp.), Beet (Beta sp.), Cabbage and mustard (Brassica sp.), Medick including alfalfa, lucerne (Medicago sp.). We made good progress on the methodology, but also faced some major obstacles related to data availability.
Endresen, D.T.F. (2010). Predictive association between trait data and ecogeographic data for Nordic barley landraces. Crop Sci. 50(6):2418-2430. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2010.03.0174
Endresen, D.T.F., K. Street, M. Mackay, A. Bari, and E. De Pauw (2011). Predictive Association between Biotic Stress Traits and Eco-Geographic Data for Wheat and Barley Landraces. Crop Science 51 (5): 2036-2055. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2010.12.0717
Endresen, D.T.F. (2011). Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources: A Lifeboat to the Gene Pool [PhD Thesis]. Copenhagen University, Faculty for Life Sciences, Department of Agriculture and Ecology. Printed at Media-Tryck, Lund University Press, April 2011. Available at: http://goo.gl/pYa9x (PDF 37 MB). ISBN: 978-91-628-8268-6.
Bari, A., K. Street, M. Mackay, D.T.F. Endresen, E. De Pauw, and A. Amri (2012). Focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS) detects wheat stem rust resistance linked to environmental variables. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (in press). doi:10.1007/s10722-011-9775-5
Endresen, D.T.F., K. Street, M. Mackay, A. Bari, A. Amri, E. De Pauw, K. Nazari, and A. Yahyaoui (2012). Sources of Resistance to Stem Rust (Ug99) in Bread Wheat and Durum Wheat Identified Using Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS). Crop Science 52, in press. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2011.08.0427