SeedStor is a new information management system and user orientated searchable database system being created by the team at the Germplasm Resources Unit at the John Innes Centre, assisted by funding from the BBSRC. Written largely in PHP it provides a web-based modular interface to an underlying MySQL database. By using standard web-browser code and widely used database packages we hope to make it as platform-independent and transferrable as possible. This approach avoids the locked-in limitations sometimes encountered with executable files.
Control Panel

Core Functions

Requests Processing

Handling requests for our publically accessible collections is a complex multi-stage process. SeedStor allows us to visualise each request as a linear pathway, greatly speeding up the admin functions and helping to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Requests List

Phytosanitary Certification

In order to serve our overseas requestors we frequently have to obtain Phytosanitary Certificates and other official documentation required for our material to pass customs at the point of entry. Again, this can be a complex process with many stages. SeedStor allows us to formalise and linearise these processes.

Regeneration Handling

The GRU collections contain over 60,000 accessions and so our regeneration programme typically handles >1000 lines per year. SeedStor will allow automatic population of regeneration lists and we have plans for many other useful functions such as outcome handling, bench and field plans, label printing, etc.


We need a good overview of the number and type of requests we receive, which stocks are dispatched, and their outcomes, in order to monitor our operations. This also helps us to prepare reports on our activities to interested parties including our funders, BBSRC. SeedStor will contain a dedicated reporting module to generate these summaries and figures.

Accession Searches

The modular design of SeedStor means that the same code that allows the curators to search the collections to fulfil the requestor’s requirements can be deployed to an outward-facing search function available through this website. As well as providing the search functions currently available, there will be new phenotype search functions and “Browse” functionalities. In addition, the process of reviewing our data to migrate to SeedStor has allowed us to address anomalies, errors and inconsistencies that build up in historical data sets.


If you are interested in the concept of SeedStor then we are interested in hearing from you. A beta release of the public facing database went live in December 2014 for four of our main collections. The migration of further collections and enhancement of features will be ongoing through 2015, so now is a good time to let us know what functionality you are particularly interested in learning more details of, or any additional functionality would like to see in the system to make it useful to you as a germplasm curator. Our intention is to be open with the source code and collaborate with other initiatives where we can share approaches and solutions. Contact us at

We will post bulletins of further development on this webpage so keep watching this space.