The the International Barley Core Collection (BCC) is a selected and limited set of accessions. It optimally represents the genetic diversity of cultivated barley and the wild species of Hordeum, covering the three genepools. The core should include as much as possible of its genetic diversity.
The BCC is being developed in order to (1) increase the knowledge about the barley genepool; (2) increase the efficiency of evaluation and thus of utilisation of existing collections; (3) provide a manageable and representative, highly diverse selection of the available barley germplasm for use in research and plant breeding; (4) provide adequate standards, e.g., for studies of genetic diversity in barley.
Whenever a diverse set of barley accessions is needed for an investigation, the BCC or a subset of it can be used. Consequently, large numbers of diverse results of characterisation, evaluation and other research will be accumulated for a relatively small number of accessions. The BCC does not replace existing collections and does not make them superfluous. It is a key for better utilisation of the existing collections.