Open access to genetic sequence data maximizes value to scientists, farmers, and society

Jim Gaffney, Redeat Tibebu, Rebecca Bart, Getu Beyene, Dejene Girma, Ndjido Ardo Kane, Emma S. Mace, Todd Mockler, Thomas E. Nickson, Nigel Taylor, Gina Zastrow-Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Open access to genetic sequence data, often referred to as Digital Sequence Information, has been available since genome sequencing became possible and creates both monetary and nonmonetary value. Nonmonetary value is created when scientists access sequence data for discovery, collaboration, and innovation. Monetary value is created when genetic variability is leveraged to develop more robust and resilient crop plants, vibrant seed systems, more sustainable agriculture, and food security for consumers. Millions of dollars have been invested in curating and creating access to sequence databases and scientists from almost every country in the world have accessed these databases, free of charge. This access may now be threatened by well-meaning policy-makers who have not consulted with the scientific community. Monetizing or creating greater regulation of genetic sequence data would create barriers to innovation, partnering, and problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100411
JournalGlobal Food Security
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Convention on biodiversity
  • Digital sequence information
  • Genetic sequence data
  • Nucleotide sequences
  • Open access


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