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Sections > Latest issue > No.

English

The UK Flora Programme of the Millennium Seed Bank Project: the outcome of a collaboration between volunteers and professionals The Millennium Seed Bank Project is an initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. The Project is a major international collaborative seed conservation effort for wild plant species. An initial phase of this Project was its UK Flora Programme. This sought to collect and conserve at least one seed sample from every species of seed-producing plant native to the UK, between 1997 and 2000. This is perhaps the most comprehensive attempt by a country to underpin the conservation of its seed-bearing flora in this way. The methods whereby this was carried out are described, particularly the precautions taken to ensure that accurately identified samples of good-quality seed were received from a network of volunteer collectors, both professional and amateur. The results of the Programme are discussed; at the end of 1999, around 88% of the UK’s native higher plant species were represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. The Programme has continued beyond the end of the projected three years, and the MSB currently holds 90% of the roughly 1400 native species. The problems of obtaining collections of the remaining 10% of species are discussed.

By S. Alton  S. Linington  

published on No.128, in English
Page 1 to 10

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English

Plant genetic resources collecting in Latin America and the Caribbean: the past and the future Germplasm collecting is an activity of crucial importance in the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. We present a historical overview of plant genetic resource collecting activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, which highlights the importance of collaboration among national, regional and international organizations. The importance of adequate documentation of collected germplasm is stressed, and it is suggested that Geographic Information Systems tools for the analysis of genetic resources data can be used to increase the efficiency of germplasm exploration.

By Luigi Guarino  Carlos Astorga  Dimary Libreros  

published on No.128, in English
Page 11 to 20

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English

Hormonal level and viability of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) seeds germinating after treatment with different storage temperatures Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) seeds were stored for 15 months at +3, -25, -75 or -196°C. After storage seeds were germinated for 9 days to determine viability, bound and free auxin (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) levels. Obtained results do not provide clear evidence for a possible correlation between low-temperature storage treatment and viability of spruce seeds. However, a germination test revealed a significant decrease in vitality of seeds pretreated with +3°C storage temperature compared with -25°C controls. Seeds subjected to a storage temperature of +3°C expressed slightly lower bound IAA level, which could be correlated with decreased viability. Presented results indicated a decreased level of free IAA in seeds pretreated with a -196°C storage temperature compared with -25°C controls. On the other hand, the results revealed an increased level of free ABA in germinating seeds pretreated with +3, -75 or -196°C storage temperatures. The most significant increase, however, could be observed in the -75°C treatment and it correlates with earlier obtained results showing increased plasma membrane fluidity in the same seedlings. On the other hand, decreased bound abscisic acid content was observed in germinating seeds pretreated with -196°C storage temperature. Observed increased free ABA level, can indicate that pretreated seeds can express, during germination, physiological changes associated with stress response or adaptation.

By Krzysztof J. Rakowski  

published on No.128, in English
Page 21 to 25

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English

Multicrop collecting expeditions in Aeolian archipelago (Italy) Within the framework of an agreement between the Germplasm Institute (IG) of Bari (Italy) and the Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK) of Gatersleben (Germany), in autumn 1997 and summer 1999 two collecting expeditions to the Aeolian archipelago (Italy) were carried out. Ninety-five accessions belonging to 35 species were gathered, mainly landraces of cereals, pulses and vegetables. Some rare wild relatives (e.g. Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.) and uncommon crops (e.g. Cucurbita ficifolia Bouché) were also sampled and collected. Material is being deposited in the genebanks of the IG and IPK. For each of the seven inhabited islands of Aeolian archipelago, data and notes on their past and present agricultural situation are given, together with a discussion on their degree of crop genetic erosion. Among them Salina is the most important for the role that agriculture has in its economy while, at present, the small Alicudi appears the most protected from risk of crop genetic erosion.

By G. Laghetti  G. Olita  P. Perrino  K. Hammer  

published on No.128, in English
Page 26 to 34

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English

Variability in various agronomic traits of wild cocoa trees (Theobroma cacao L.) from the Camopi and Tanpok basins (French Guiana) More than 1500 wild cocoa trees (Theobroma cacao L.) representing 146 progenies belonging to 11 native populations identified in two river basins were studied individually at CIRAD’s Sinnamary station (French Guiana) over a period of 10 years for the following selection criteria: juvenile growth, adult vigour, the production:vigour ratio (cropping efficiency), earliness of production, yields, average pod weight and losses in the field due to rot. For each trait, the variability found in the study material is presented on three levels: individuals, progenies and populations (means, maximum, minimum, coefficients of between-group variation, and mean of the coefficients of within-group variation). A canonical discriminant analysis carried out on seven traits revealed variability structuring that was coherent with the populations defined during surveys.

By Ph. Lachenaud  G. Oliver  

published on No.128, in English
Page 35 to 40

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English

Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.) germplasm collecting and distribution study in Slovenia and Sweden Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola) is considered an important progenitor of cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and is useful in lettuce breeding as a donor of resistance genes. In order to collect and conserve seed material and study L. serriola distribution in unexplored areas of Slovenia and Sweden, the expeditions were carried out in 2000 by staff members of the Department of Botany of Palacký University in Olomouc and Gene Bank Department – Workplace Olomouc, Research Institute of Crop Production in Prague, Czech Republic. During the missions, 158 seed samples were collected from 67 locations occurring between sea level and approx. 600 m. The most characteristic habitats, density of populations and occurrence of downy and powdery mildews were recorded. After regeneration, seed samples will be added to the collection of genetic resources and used for future detailed characterization and research.

By E. Krístková  A. Lebeda  I. Dolezalova  

published on No.128, in English
Page 41 to 44

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English

Demographic study in microconservation sites to maintain in situ wild Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus L.) in the Central Valley of Costa Rica In order to preserve in situ endangered Lima bean populations in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, synthetic populations were made with seeds of four nearby populations collected in their origin areas. These populations were planted in 1998 in two types of protected microconservation sites: a layout with four circular patches (each one containing one of the four populations) and a layout of linear shape. In the two conservation models, plant growth was favoured by early weedings and support of climbing plants, application of insecticides, watering and maintaining soil moisture with a mulch. Efficiency of these microreserves was determined by comparing four demographic parameters (germination percentage, death rate, lignification index and mean fecundity) in five synthetic populations with those in natural populations located in the same life zone or in similar ecological niches. The results obtained after 1 year show that the death rate is lower in synthetic populations than in natural populations. In addition, the germination percentage and the lignification index were higher in the synthetic populations. There was no clear tendency in the values of mean fecundity between synthetic and natural populations. Better vital rates in synthetic populations could be related to management practices. The relevance of these findings for in situ conservation is discussed.

By Jean Pierre Baudoin  O.J. Rocha  Jerome Degreef  Frederic Meurrens  

published on No.128, in English
Page 45 to 50

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English

Preliminary evaluation of naturalized Italian ryegrass populations in Buenos Aires province, Argentina Twenty-one adapted populations of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) collected from different sites including grassland and roadside environments in Buenos Aires province, Argentina, were characterized at the Experimental Station Pergamino (INTA). The purpose was to evaluate adapted germplasm and to select populations for a breeding programme of this species. Thirty-six plants per accession were sown and transplanted as spaced plants in a randomized complete block design with two replicates. The check population was an Argentinean cultivar, ‘El Resero MAG’. Eleven attributes were evaluated during 1999. The results indicated large differences between populations for most attributes measured. Attributes related to severity of rust infection (Puccinia spp.) and winter growth showed important variability, which was appropriate to include in the breeding programme.

By B.S. Rosso  Adriana Andres  

published on No.128, in English
Page 51 to 54

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English

The ecogeography and collecting of forage legumes in the east Aegean Islands, Greece Forage and pasture legumes were collected from three Greek Islands in the Aegean sea—Limnos, Lesvos and Khios—during May 1998. The seed accessions collected illustrate the diversity of annual legume species in the region. From the 18 legume genera encountered, 755 seed accessions were collected. The most frequently collected genera were Trifolium, Medicago and Vicia. Sites were chosen to reflect the broad range of habitats present on each of the islands and to enable the maximum sampling of genetic diversity. The majority of sites had soil with a slightly acid to neutral pH and a range of altitude between 0 and 543 m. Species at higher sites were under-represented in the collected material because ripe seed was unavailable at the time of sampling. Rainfall and pH had a significant effect on the distribution of certain species. The collections of legumes adapted to acid sandy soils from the islands are particularly valuable for utilization in Mediterranean farming systems both within the Mediterranean basin and elsewhere. Collections of particular interest include Trifolium michelianum, T. resupinatum, T. clypeatum, T. fragiferum, T. spumosum, Biserrula pelecinus, Ornithopus compressus and Vicia sativa subspecies macrocarpa. The large range of legume species recorded highlights their importance within Mediterranean ecosystems. The overgrazing and intense cultivation in some areas and generally low occurrence of many of the species collected confirms the importance of conservation to avoid serious genetic erosion.

By Harriet Sarah Shackle  Sarita Jane Bennett  Richard Snowball  S. Samaras  Clive Francis  Nigel Maxted  

published on No.128, in English
Page 55 to 63

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English

Characterization of gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) cultivars using morphological characters Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) is a herbaceous perennial flower crop with long leafless stalks and daisy-like flowers. A native of South Africa, it is a popular cut flower grown throughout the world in a wide range of climatic conditions. The genus Gerbera L. consists of 30 species, which are of Asiatic and African origin. Among the different species, G. jamesonii is the only species under cultivation. It was established as a commercial crop in the 1930s. The modern gerbera arose from G. jamesonii hybridized with G. viridifolia and possibly other species. There is a wide range of variation in this crop. Collection of germplasm and the search for desirable cultivars are of utmost importance in practical flower crop breeding. The present endeavour estimates the natural variation present in growth, yield and inflorescence characters among different cultivars for utilization in breeding programmes.

By Anuradha Sane  J.V. Narayana Gowda  

published on No.128, in English
Page 64 to 67

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English

Ex situ conservation in the Bulgarian genebank: 1. Effect of storage Seed accessions of 207 plant species stored for more than 10 years under genebank conditions were evaluated. The level of seed moisture content for storage at –18ºC is presented. The variation in seed survival is described for a large number of accessions from 32 genera: Arachis, Avena, Brassica, Camelina, Cicer, Cucumis, Cucurbita, Dactylis, Festuca, Glycine, Helianthus, Hordeum, Lactuca, Lathyrus, Lens, Lolium, Lycopersicon, Medicago, Melo, Onobrychis, Papaver, Phaseolus, Pisum, Sesamum, Sinapis, Sorghum, Tagetes, Triticale, Triticum, Vicia, Vigna and Zea. Evaluations of 14 600 seed accessions from 28 plant species included calculation of viability constants (s) and the predicted time for decrease of seed viability with 10% probability (p10). The described s-values are used to classify plant species into four groups differing in seed survival under genebank conditions. The monitoring of time in storage is used to stipulate the frequency of control tests and regeneration events.

By Siyka D. Stoyanova  

published on No.128, in English
Page 68 to 76

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English
Italian Contribution to Plant Genetics and Breeding
Summary not availablee

By Ardeshir B. Damania  

published on No.128, in English
Page 77 to 77

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Norway spruce (Picea abies) in Tatra National Park, Slovakia (Josef Turok, IPGRI). Krzysztof J. Rakowski discusses the viability of Norway spruce seeds after treatment at different storage temperatures on pp. 21-25.
IPGRI©


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