Eggplant Genetic Resources Network

   Management, Conservation, and Utilization of Genetic Resources of Eggplants

Project funded by the European Commission (Project RESGEN PL 98-113)

Eggplants are of considerable economic importance in some parts of Europe as vegetables, but they also command interest throughout Europe from breeders, seed companies, growers, consumers and phytochemists, who are concerned with better use of the genetic resources of eggplants.

Eggplants in the broad IPGRI sense encompass several species of Solanum that are grown as gastronomically interesting and nutritionally valuable vegetables, also as desert fruits and medicinal plants, as well as many related wild species. The eggplants originate from three continents, Asia, Africa and South America. The best known eggplant species is Solanum melongena (brinjal, eggplant or aubergine), widely cultivated in Asia (78 % of world production) and to a lesser but still important extent in the Mediterranean basin, including Turkey (some 19 % of world production). Incidentally Turkey, an EU economic partner, produces more eggplant than all of Europe.

Note about the illustration:The Solanum melongena illustration was taken from the book "Hortus Eystettensis - The Bishop's Garden - and Besler's Magnificent Book", published in 1994 by The British Library and compiled and edited by Nicolas Barker. This book contains a selection of hand-coloured reproductions from the original editions of the Hortus Eystettensis.
In the early 17th century the Prince-Bishop of Eichstatt, Germany, created a splendid garden, the first to contain all the shrubs and flowering plants known at the time, including the latest imports from the Orient and America.When the garden was completed, the bishop commisioned a monumental picture book of plants - The Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstatt), published in 1613 by botanist-apothecary Basilius Besler, who had helped to develop the garden. That book printed from elaborately prepared copper engravings in a very large format, has 367 plates beautifully illustrating more than 1000 species. It is the greatest botanical picture book ever created. Most copies were in black and white, however, a very few copies were printed on special paper and individually hand-coloured by teams of illuminators, and today these are among the most priceles of volumes.


*Participating Partners
*Coordination Board and Partners (including participants Solanaceae Working Group)
*Background and State of the Art
*Inventory and creation of EGGNET database
*Save, regenerate and identify
*Primary characterization
*Secondary characterization
*Coordination of EGGNET and the dissemination of the results which have been made readily accessible online via the following website:

                                      The ECP/GR Eggplant Database

          The EGGNET project has been concluded on April 1, 2005.  Most objectives indicated and described above have been achieved, i.e. the creation of an EGGNET database for the inventory, primary and secondary characterization etc. The EGGNET database was created in order to make an inventory of,  and to connect the European holdings of eggplant germplasm at the different locations throughout the Europe,  and has delivered a rich source of information on eggplants. Thanks to the exceptional richness of the collections in related wild species and cultivars, the EGGNET germplasm collections constitute probably the most important eggplant collection in the world.
           In order to make the data obtained within the EGGNET project accessible for all interested parties an,  a user-friendly, platform independent, web-based search pages and different output formats have been developed into the EGGPLANT database by the database managers Gerard Barendse and Gerard van der Weerden (Participants in EGGNET) in collaboration with Martijn Bellemakers (project manager), Boudewijn Janssen (programmer) and Jan Rijnders (adviser).

            This EGGNET site was created in January 1999, last updated March 2005.