The Eggplant Genetic Resource Collection

The eggplant, Solanum melongena L. (2n = 24) is a self-pollinating species, with a tendency to allogamy due to insect pollination. It belongs to the genus Solanum, which comprises the largest number of species in the Solanaceae family. There are many related wild and cultivated species that can be more or less easily crossed with S.melongena.


The Eggplant collection was started at INRA in 1962 and has expanded over the years to meet the needs of breeding programs.


Fruit d'une espèce apparentée à l'aubergine

The collection currently has more than 900 accessions of S.melongena, originating in about sixty countries or created by the INRAE breeding programs and over 1,000 accessions of other species of Solanum originating mainly from Africa (related wild and other cultivated species of eggplant S.macrocarpon, S.aethiopicum, S.scabrum).

 ⇒ Find more details on the history of this collection: History of the eggplant collection

The Eggplant network is a part of the network of Solanaceae seed vegetables which was created in 1996. This network has helped save and share genetic material, but has also facilitated exchange between professionals for field trials.

As a result of material pooled by the network, the national Eggplant collection includes 80 accessions of old varieties of French origin.

Diversité aubergines

Diversité des aubergines conservées à l'INRA

 ⇒ Visit the National eggplant collection on the GnpIS website

 Some scientific RG (mainly RILS populations and doubled haploid populations) have also been created for research purposes.

 ⇒ Find the main eggplant research programs on Marie-Christine Daunay’s page


Learning resources

You can freely use these learning and communication tools by mentioning the source (INRA CRB-Leg). Send us feedback on their use.

  • Poster of “The history of the introduction of the eggplant”
  • Poster of “The colour and diversity of the eggplant”

In this folder

The Solanaceae Genetic Resources Network of seed vegetables has been managed by the CRB-Leg since 1996. It has allowed sharing of materials and the burden of maintenance and phenotyping between partners.
Eggplant selection at INRA

Modification date: 08 November 2023 | Publication date: 08 April 2016 | By: RS