The genebank for crop wild relatives (Genebank WEL) was founded in 2014 as a national network. The Botanic Gardens Berlin, Karlsruhe, Osnabrück and Regensburg, the University of Education Karlsruhe, and the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food are members of the network. The cooperation is coordinated by the Botanic Garden Osnabrück.
The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, as partner of the Genebank WEL, is responsible for integration into national and international cooperation.
When it was founded, the collection of the CWR genebank comprised over 4,200 seed accessions from 263 sampled CWR species, which had been collected throughout Germany in 293 distinct natural areas. In this way, it records the interspecific and intraspecific variability and ensures genetically diverse genetic resources. Since then, the genebank collection has been expanded primarily through collecting by partners and collecting activities in projects.
Data on the CWR accessions are available in the National Inventory on Plant Genetic Resources in Germany (PGRDEU).
The distribution of planting material for breeding, research and training purposes takes place via the standardised material transfer agreement (SMTA) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.