BGN 19: The Nordic Barley Catalogue

The Nordic Barley Catalogue

J. Helms Jørgensen
Agricultural Research Department
Risø National Laboratory
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark and

Sigfus Biarnasson
Nordic Gene Bank
Box 41, S-23053
Alnarp, Sweden


The Nordic Gene Bank for Agricultural and Horticultural Plants is a joint undertaking by the five Nordic countries; Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Gene Bank was established in 1979 and is located at Alnarp in Southern Sweden.

The Nordic Gene Bank (NGB) is commissioned to preserve and document the genetic variation in valuable material of agricultural and horticultural plants in the Nordic countries. The "valuable" material comprises varieties and landraces, etc. of the crop plant species. NGB is also a service institute for plant breeders, other plant scientists, and individuals interested in plant genetic resources.

The barley material presented in the publication 'THE NORDIC BARLEY CATALOGUE' mostly originates from seed collections that were maintained nationally at plant breeding companies, universities, and other research institutes. Some of the collections are kept partly or entirely at NGB, others are still kept partly or entirely at the original institutes.


The information about the material was initially registered at the original institutes. At NGB, the staff of the Department of Information, in cooperation with NGB's Working Group for Cereals, have created a database, the Nordic Barley Database, where the information from the original databases is summarized.

The aim of the book, "THE NORDIC BARLEY CATALOGUE", is to present the barley material and data at NGB to barley researchers and breeders within and outside the Nordic countries. The book lists 1187 spring and winter barley accessions primarily from the Nordic countries and Northwest Europe. They are described using about 15 selection descriptors such as name, origin, age, some morphological and agronomic characters, and references to data on the pedigree of varieties, on powdery mildew resistance genes, and on reaction to barley leaf stripe.

The purpose of the publication is to provide a guide that can be used for utilizing the data in the Nordic Barley Database and the various other barley databases which are available on request from NGB.

The Nordic Gene Bank hopes that the book and the databases will help individuals interested in barley genetic resources to identify valuable barley accessions.


The Nordic Barley Database and the original databases are available on request. The Nordic Gene Bank also provides specifically requested subsets of the databases and printed reports, including desired descriptors and/or accessions meeting specific criteria.

The databases can be delivered both as dBASE and BIRS databases on diskettes for computers with the PC/MS-DOS operating system. The data can also be delivered in any of the data-formats that dBASE TV can handle (different ASCII formats and formats for other software packages). Both 3.5" (720 kB or 1.44MB) and 5.25" (360 kB) diskettes can be used. The Nordic Gene Bank can on request help to transform data to other systems (for example Apple Macintosh and some CP/M-systems). Data can also be delivered on magnetic tapes.

For delivery of databases and subsets of databases on magnetic media, please state in request:

  • the type of diskette (or tape) and data-format (dBASE, BIRS, ASCII, etc.)

For delivery of subsets of databases or printed reports, please state in request:

  • which descriptors to include
  • if only accessions meeting specific criteria should be included
  • if the database should be sorted in a specific manner.

The dBASE field names given in the Lists of descriptors can be used to identify desired descriptors. The information provided in the Lists of descriptors about the width of the fields can be used to calculate the size of the databases and how many descriptors can be included on a printed list. One line cannot include more than 132 characters on the standard paper- format used.

Accessions having registered NGB numbers are freely and immediately available on request. Many other accessions in the databases will be moved from the original institutes to the Nordic Gene Bank in the years to come.

The Nordic Gene Bank is depending on the feedback from users to improve the information on the material and, therefore, would appreciate receiving the results of investigations carried out on the delivered material. Corrections and remarks on the catalogue are also welcome.


Seed samples and data can be obtained from:

Nordic Gene Bank for Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
P.O. Box 41
S-230 53 Alnarp

Phone: +46 - 40(0) - 41 17 90
FAX: +46 - 40(0) - 46 21 88
Telex: 32717 NGB S

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