The World Saffron and Crocus collection: Strategies for establishment, management, characterisation and utilisation

José Antonio Fernández, Omar Santana, José Luis Guardiola, Rosa Victoria Molina, Pat Heslop-Harrison, George Borbely, Ferdinando Branca, Sergio Argento, Eleni Maloupa, Thierry Talou, Jean Marie Thiercelin, Khalil Gasimov, Hasan Vurdu, Marta Roldán, Marcela Santaella, Enrique Sanchís, Amparo García-Luis, Gyula Suranyi, Attila Molnár, Gabor SramkoGergely Gulyas, Luckacs Balazs, Orsolya Horvat, María Fernanda Rodríguez, Raúl Sánchez-Vioque, Miguel Ángel Escolano, José Vicente Reina, Nikos Krigas, Teresa Pastor, Begoña Renau-Morata, Christine Raynaud, Oruc Ibadli, Moschos Polissiou, Maria Z. Tsimidou, Athanasios Tsaftaris, Mahmoud Sharaf-Eldin, Joaquin Medina, Theophanis Constantinidis, Theophanis Karamplianis, Marcelino De-Los-Mozos-Pascual

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2007, the European Commission AGRI GEN RES 018 "CROCUSBANK" action has permitted the creation of the alleged World Saffron and Crocus Collection (WSCC), a unique collection which contains a representation of the genetic variability present in saffron crop and wild relatives at global scale. At present the germplasm collection, housed at the Bank of Plant Germplasm of Cuenca (BGV-CU, Spain), consists of 572 preserved accessions representing 47 different Crocus species (including saffron Crocus) and is expected to increase up to more than 600 accessions by the end of CROCUSBANK action (May 2011). The preserved biodiversity of saffron (Crocussativus L.) covers a wide range of the genetic variability of the crop and currently consists of 220 accessions from 15 countries: 169 of these come from European cultivation countries, 18 from commercial areas in non EU countries, 26 from regions of minimal or relict production and/or from abandoned fields and 7 from commercial nurseries. The non-saffron Crocus collection currently comprises 352 accessions: 179 collected from the wild in 12 countries of natural distribution, 24 from donations of public and private institutions, 91 from commercial nurseries and 58 acquired from BGV-CU collection management. Here we provide a record of collections, activities concerns and current strategies for documentation, conservation, characterisation, and management of the collection as important tools for researchers with interest in these valuable genetic resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011



  • Crop diversity
  • Database
  • Ex situ conservation
  • Genetic resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Fernández, J. A., Santana, O., Guardiola, J. L., Molina, R. V., Heslop-Harrison, P., Borbely, G., Branca, F., Argento, S., Maloupa, E., Talou, T., Thiercelin, J. M., Gasimov, K., Vurdu, H., Roldán, M., Santaella, M., Sanchís, E., García-Luis, A., Suranyi, G., Molnár, A., ... De-Los-Mozos-Pascual, M. (2011). The World Saffron and Crocus collection: Strategies for establishment, management, characterisation and utilisation. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 58(1), 125-137.