Home Forum topic Documentation and Data Sharing Seed bank databases – what do you use?

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    Heather SchneiderCPC Conservation Officer

    We have been housing our seed bank and living collections data in Microsoft Access, but are looking to change. Our Horitculture team is interested in IrisBG, but I have no idea how well that would work for housing our seed bank accessions. What are folks using to manage their seed bank databases? I want to implement something that is user friendly and nimble enough to house all of the different types of data we record. We don’t have a budget for this at this time, but I’m open to fee-based options if they are much more powerful than free databases. Right now I just want to get an idea of what our top choices might be and go from there. Thanks!

    Meg EngelhardtCPC Conservation Officer

    Here at Missouri Botanical Garden we use an inhouse developed Living Collections Management System (LCMS), which is not available for purchase at this time. It works for all aspects of living collections databasing including seed bank, propagation, and aquisitions. http://www.livingcollections.org

    Katie HeinemanCPC Conservation Officer

    Hi Heather, I know we’ve already discussed this, but I thought I would post this here for the sake of community :). I have had a hard time finding an all purpose seed bank database solution as well. Currently the seed bank at San Diego Zoo Seed Bank uses custom web database product called Caspio for our day-to-day monitoring, seed inventory, genetic repository, and germination testing activities and then we represent our accessions in our institution-wide horticulture database in IrisBG. It’s nice because we have the flexibility to custom projects and it’s web-based (so I am not limited by operation systems or users), but I don’t know if I would 100% recommend starting a Caspio database system from scratch because it takes some pretty active maintenance, and there is a lot of taxnomic functionality we just don’t have because it takes time to develop. I’m impressed by how flexible IrisBG has been in incorporating different data types (germination tests, DNA). However, there is somewhat of a steep learning curve, and almost our entire plant conservation department uses Macs, so a windows-based application is not exactly the best solution for us. It would be wonderful if there were a web-based solution for accession management community-wide (not just a repository) that were available to join and under active development.

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