Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

CWRML: representing crop wild relative conservation and use data in XML

By Jonathan D. Moore, Shelagh P. Kelly, Jose M. Iriondo, Brian V. Ford-Lloyd and Nigel Maxted


Background\ud Crop wild relatives are wild species that are closely related to crops. They are valuable as potential gene donors for crop improvement and may help to ensure food security for the future. However, they are becoming increasingly threatened in the wild and are inadequately conserved, both in situ and ex situ. Information about the conservation status and utilisation potential of crop wild relatives is diverse and dispersed, and no single agreed standard exists for representing such information; yet, this information is vital to ensure these species are effectively conserved and utilised. The European Community-funded project, European Crop Wild Relative Diversity Assessment and Conservation Forum, determined the minimum information requirements for the conservation and utilisation of crop wild relatives and created the Crop Wild Relative Information System, incorporating an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schema to aid data sharing and exchange.\ud \ud Results\ud Crop Wild Relative Markup Language (CWRML) was developed to represent the data necessary for crop wild relative conservation and ensure that they can be effectively utilised for crop improvement. The schema partitions data into taxon-, site-, and population-specific elements, to allow for integration with other more general conservation biology schemata which may emerge as accepted standards in the future. These elements are composed of sub-elements, which are structured in order to facilitate the use of the schema in a variety of crop wild relative conservation and use contexts. Pre-existing standards for data representation in conservation biology were reviewed and incorporated into the schema as restrictions on element data contents, where appropriate.\ud \ud Conclusion\ud CWRML provides a flexible data communication format for representing in situ and ex situ conservation status of individual taxa as well as their utilisation potential. The development of the schema highlights a number of instances where additional standards-development may be valuable, particularly with regard to the representation of population-specific data and utilisation potential. As crop wild relatives are intrinsically no different to other wild plant species there is potential for the inclusion of CWRML data elements in the emerging standards for representation of biodiversity data.\ud \u

Topics: SB
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. A Biological Collection Access Service
  2. (2005). A Global Initiative to Conserve Crop Wild Relatives In Situ. BGjournal
  3. (2004). AT: New developments in museum-based informatics and applications in biodiversity analysis. Trends in Ecology and Evolution doi
  4. (2001). Barillot E: XML, bioinformatics and data integration. Bioinformatics Review doi
  5. (2001). Categories and Criteria (version 3.1)
  6. (2005). Challenges building online GIS services to support global biodiversity mapping and analysis: lessons from the mountain and plains database and informatics project. Biodiversity Informatics doi
  7. (1997). Complementary Conservation Strategies. In Plant genetic conservation: the in situ approach Edited by: Maxted doi
  8. (2007). Conservation and sustainable use of crop wild relatives. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment doi
  9. (1988). Conserving the wild relatives of crops doi
  10. Crop wild relatives doi
  11. Crops and wild relatives of the Euro-Mediterranean region: making and using a conservation catalogue. doi
  12. (1971). de Wet JMJ: Towards a rational classification of cultivated plants. Taxon doi
  13. Distributed Generic Information Retrieval (DiGIR)
  14. (1995). Ecogeographic surveys. In Collecting plant genetic diversity: technical guidelines Edited by: Guarino
  15. European Crop Wild Relative Diversity Assessment and Conservation Forum homepage []
  16. European Nature Information System (EUNIS): Habitat types []
  17. (1988). FAO: FAO/Unesco Soil Map of the World, Revised legend, with corrections and updates. World Soil Resources Report 60, doi
  18. (2002). FAO: World agriculture towards 2015–2030 summary report. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
  19. (2006). Food Stores: Using Protected Areas to Secure Crop Genetic Diversity Gland, Switzerland, WWF Arguments for protection series;
  20. Ford-Lloyd BV: Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Use: Establishing the Context. In Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Use Edited by: Maxted doi
  21. (2004). Ford-Lloyd BV: Economic Botany Standards for Crop Wild Relatives. Presentation given at PGR Forum Workshop 5, Genetic Erosion and Genetic Pollution Assessment Methodologies. Terçeira Island, Portugal .
  22. (1995). Gathering and recording data in the field. In Collecting plant genetic diversity: technical guidelines Edited by: Guarino
  23. (1983). Genes from the wild: using wild genetic resources for food and raw materials London, Earthscan Publications; doi
  24. (1997). Genetic Conservation Information Management. In Plant genetic conservation: the in situ approach Edited by: Maxted doi
  25. Homepage for the Taxonomic Databases Working Group []
  26. IUCN: Habitats Authority File [ doc/SSC/RedList/AuthorityF/habitats.rtf]
  27. (1934). Life forms of plants and statistical plant geography doi
  28. (2006). MA: Towards a definition of a crop wild relative. Biodiversity and Conservation doi
  29. Maxted N: CWRIS: an information management system to aid crop wild relative conservation and sustainable use. doi
  30. Relative Information System (CWRIS) doi
  31. (2007). T: The use of wild relatives in crop improvement: A survey of developments over the last 20 years. Euphytica doi
  32. Task Group on Access to Biological Collection Data:
  33. Taxonomic Databases Working Group:
  34. TDWG: Economic Botany Data Collection Standard
  35. Wiki for the TDWG Access Protocol for Information Retrieval (TAPIR)

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.