Genetic Improvement Networks

Funded by Defra, the Genetic Improvement Networks (GINs) generate pre-breeding material that carries novel, profitable and sustainable traits.

Collaborative research is at the heart of the networks, to ensure efforts are placed on key traits and the material produced (genetic and knowledge) is accessible to breeders.

Annual meetings

Each year, the GINs hold stakeholder meetings to share the latest developments with anyone interested in crop genetics. Usually, these take place in autumn. However, in response to COVID-19, a different approach is required. Keep an eye on their websites for times, dates, locations and programme information.

Oilseed Rape Genetic Improvement Network (OREGIN)

Next/recent meeting: 23 November 2021 (Hertfordshire)

Visit the Oilseed Rape Genetic Improvement Network website

Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network (PCGIN)

Next/recent meeting: 17 November 2021 (online – Zoom)

Visit the Pulse Crop Genetic Improvement Network website

Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN)

Next/recent meeting: 30 March 2022 (online – Zoom)

Visit the Wheat Genetic Improvement Network website

Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN)

Next/recent meeting: 1 December 2021 (online – Zoom)

Visit the Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network website


Germplasm journey (articles about the GINS)


While the problems facing growers may make it tempting to reach for the gin, plant breeders are finding that GINs are actually providing the answers. CPM takes the top off VeGIN and gets a taster of what’s inside.

Vegetable GIN solutions (CPM article, October 2021)


Collaborative research has long been the backbone of a Defra-funded breeding programme that has responded to the challenges facing oilseed rape growers. CPM explores the programme’s current focus.

The OREGIN of resilience? (CPM article, July 2020)


The Genetic Improvement Networks have revolutionised plant breeding in the UK. CPM reports on the achievements of the GINs and how they will contribute to the varieties of the future.

GINs provide shot in the arm (CPM article, July 2017)


While the Recommended Lists represent the most significant part of AHDB activity on varieties, the lifeblood of new lines lies in breeding and pre-breeding research. CPM tracks its history and prospects.

Germplasm journey (CPM article, November 2015)


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