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Sections > Latest issue > No.

English

Avena strigosa in Denmark and Lithuania: prospects for in situ conservation For centuries in the European region bristle oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.) has followed humans and their cultivation of cereals, both as a weed and as a feed crop. At the beginning of the 20th century improved seed-cleaning techniques were introduced and the species disappeared quickly from most of its former area of distribution. Today bristle oat is regarded as a rare species in most of the European region. During the cropping season of 2000 this oat genetic resource was subjected to inventories in Denmark and Lithuania, countries at the northern margin of its previous area of distribution. The species could not be found in Denmark and may be extinct. On the other hand, rich and previously unknown populations were discovered in eastern Lithuania, in areas well suited for in situ conservation. The prospects for accomplishing the objective of conserving this underutilized genetic resource, as well as the requirements and limitations, are discussed.

By Jens Weibull  Louis Lyng Johansen Bojensen  Valerijus Rasomavicius  

published on No.131, in English
Page 1 to 6

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English

Sharing responsibilities for ex situ germplasm management Approximately six million samples of plants are thought to exist in genebanks worldwide. However, it is now clear that many countries lack the resources to maintain this material. At the same time, other countries have excess storage capacity. Furthermore, while safety duplication of existing collections is far from complete, it is also believed that there may be a significant amount of over-duplication of samples. The need for rationalization of collections and the sharing of facilities/resources, wherever possible, through regional and international collaboration is therefore essential. Collaboration in germplasm management is also important given the interdependence of countries with regard to exchange of plant genetic resources and technology development. The key areas where collaboration should be encouraged are identified as: germplasm documentation; germplasm conservation; characterization, evaluation and regeneration; the identification of core collections and pre-breeding; and training and research activities. This paper looks at the requirements for building collaborative programmes that have a genuine sharing of responsibilities, reviews existing modes of collaboration and provides examples of these and finally proposes mechanisms for enhancing collaboration in the future.

By E.A. Frison  Martine Mitteau  S. Sharrock  

published on No.131, in English
Page 7 to 15

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English

State of conservation and utilization of wild Manihot genetic resources and biodiversity The genus Manihot (Euphorbiaceae) encompasses both genetic resources and biological diversity. Until recently, because of their prominently utilitarian nature, genebanks mainly concentrated efforts on the storage of cultivated economic germplasm. However, because of the relentless, hectic pace of extinction in the tropics, biodiversity of economic genera has become increasingly in demand as a target for conservation. This report is concerned with a synoptical perspective global overview on the state of conservation of wild Manihot genetic resources and biodiversity.

By Antonio C. Allem  

published on No.131, in English
Page 16 to 22

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English

Agromorphological variability in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) in Southern Kwilu, Democratic Republic of the Congo This study was undertaken in order to collect and preliminarily evaluate components of the landrace variety of pearl millet in Southern Kwilu, as a contribution to more knowledge on the species and to the improvement effort of the crop. Fifteen forms of pearl millet were identified from farmers’ fields on the basis of spike and grain morphological features, and were described and evaluated in 10-m long drilled, single-row plots at 1 m inter-row spacing in a randomised complete bloc design with three replications. Parameters of interest were shape, colour, size, number and acceptability of various plant organs and/or product, evaluated on randomly selected samples per plot and per replication. ANOVA and the least significant difference test revealed considerable genetic diversity among forms of the landrace variety, many of which bearing as many interesting traits as spike and grain shape, size and hairiness, number of tillers, uniformity of maturity, grain colour, and quality preference of the product. None of the forms did, however, gather all the desirable characteristics. The landrace variety of the Southern Kwilu could thus be a valuable source of breeding material in crop improvement programs, and genetic diversity of pearl millet in the country could be broaden through nationwide collecting efforts.

By N.G. Muyolo  K. Kamizelo  A.A.M. Kamwimba  E.W. Wawende  

published on No.131, in English
Page 23 to 28

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English

Spatial analysis of wild peanut distributions and the implications for plant genetic resources conservation Domesticated crop plants and their related wild species represent the biological foundation upon which world food security is based, yet these important components of biological diversity are imminently threatened by genetic erosion in situ. Spatial analyses are used to assess three key issues for the conservation and use of wild peanut genetic resources: (1) spatial analyses at the genomic level to elucidate the geographic origin of the cultivated peanut, (2) climatic adaptation analysis for each species, and (3) prioritization modeling for conservation. The analyses were conducted using a data-set of 397 geo-referenced records of wild peanuts (genus Arachis section Arachis), including accessions conserved in ex situ genebanks and herbarium specimens. These species are close relatives of the cultivated peanut, Arachis hypogaea, and contain traits of importance for crop improvement. In addition, they are potentially useful as tropical forages. The results show clustering of climatic adaptation in species considered potential progenitors of the cultivated peanut. Paraguay is suggested to be another possible place of origin for Arachis hypogaea. Finally, a priorities model for ex situ conservation was produced to target a number of areas in Bolivia for future germplasm collecting missions

By David Williams  Karen Williams  Israel Vargas  Glenn Hyman  Luigi Guarino  A. Jarvis  

published on No.131, in English
Page 29 to 35

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English

Cryopreservation of embryonic axes of Citrus species by encapsulation-dehydration Embryonic axes of three Citrus species (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osb., Citrus limon L., Citrus reticulata Blanco) were cryopreserved using an encapsulation-dehydration protocol. The response of embryo axes encapsulated in Na-alginate gel to sucrose preculture and desiccation to various water contents was examined with a goal to optimize survival following cryopreservation. Generally, 70% seedling recovery was achieved for C. sinensis axes desiccated to 0.15 g H2O/g dry mass. Axes precultured with sucrose (stepwise increase from 0.5 to 0.75M) and dehydrated for the same time had 0.25 g H2O/g dry mass and showed about 60% seedling recovery. Over 80% post-thaw recovery was obtained when glycerol, with and without proline, was added to the preculture medium for C. sinensis and C. reticulata. The highest recovery for C. limon (63%) was observed when axes were precultured in medium containing 0.8M sucrose plus 0.5M glycerol and subsequently desiccated to approximately 0.15 g H2O/g dry mass prior to direct immersion in liquid nitrogen. Only 23% recovery was obtained for C. reticulata axes precultured with sucrose alone, but for axes precultured with sucrose combined with proline and glycerol, there was over a three-fold increase in seedling recovery (86%). Following cryopreservation, surviving axes produced normal seedlings, without intermediary callus formation, within 3 weeks of in vitro culture.

By Izulme R.I. Santos  Cecil Stushnoff  

published on No.131, in English
Page 36 to 41

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English

Morphological diversity of Solanum scabrum accessions in Cameroon The leafy vegetables belonging to the West African nightshade group used to be referred to as Solanum nigrum. This name has been used for a number of species, including species that are being used as a vegetable in Africa. It is now being realised that the real S. nigrum does occur in several places throughout the African continent but is not used as a vegetable and also its fruit are not edible. The great diversity of forms of this species group in Cameroon led to a desire to establish whether farmers are using different species or not and if so, to identify the correct name of those species. Over 40 accessions of cultivated nightshades were collected from all over Cameroon and characterised using morphological descriptors. The accessions were grouped in 12 clusters based on principal component analysis. They generally ranged from short purple plants with leaves of about 3´4 cm to tall plants with green leaves of about 16´22 cm. A wide diversity was noticed in day to flowering, leaf and flower colour as well as in leaf size and stem wings. A number of uniform varieties with desirable characteristics were identified from amongst the many landraces currently found in Cameroon. All 30 accessions were found to belong to S. scabrum. The wide diversity of landraces that belong to this species plus the fact that it has so many different names in West African languages points towards a likely West African origin.

By J.E. Berinyuy  D.A. Fontem  D.A. Focho  R.R. Schippers  

published on No.131, in English
Page 42 to 48

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English

Botanic Gardens and Agricultural Genebanks: building on complementary strengths for more effective global conservation of plant genetic resources This paper highlights the main differences between botanic gardens (BGs) and agricultural genebanks (AGs) and suggests a strategy for collaboration between the two, aiming at a more effective global conservation of plant genetic resources, based on their complementarity. To capitalize on this complementarity, it is suggested that the two types of institutions should jointly define standards for collecting, conservation and documentation activities; cooperate in the establishment of comprehensive information management systems; forge agreements on conservation responsibilities to avoid duplications and gaps; complement each others’ expertise, skills and facilities; ascertain the involvement of each entity in planning conservation strategies and activities; and cooperate in the resolution of legal questions related to conservation, utilization and exchange of plant genetic resources.

By F. Engelmann  J.M.M. Engels  

published on No.131, in English
Page 49 to 54

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English

Collecting of landraces and wild relatives of cultivated plants in Ponziane islands and Tuscan archipelago, Italy In highly industrialized countries like Italy, only in very limited cases it is still possible to find some refuge areas for phytogenetic resources. The minor islands, for their geographical isolation, are richer in agricultural biodiversity than other continental areas with the same size. For this reason a special programme between the Germplasm Institute of Bari (Italy) and the Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung of Gatersleben (Germany) started in 1994 to safeguard crop genetic resources of minor Italian islands. In 1999, in continuation of previous collecting missions, a further expedition has been carried out in Ponziane islands and Tuscan archipelago. In all 146 accessions were gathered. The collected material resulted agronomically very interesting mainly for its specific adaptation to the particular habitat of these islands. Ventotene showed a lower degree of crop genetic erosion in comparison with the other islands where, for some time, most of traditional farmers have abandoned agriculture for tourist activity. Some specific suggestions for improving the agricultural recovery and the sustainable exploitation of local naturalistic potentialities were given for each island.

By S. Cifarelli  M. Spahillari  G. Laghetti  P. Perrino  K. Hammer  

published on No.131, in English
Page 55 to 62

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English

Direct organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in mature cotyledon explants of winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC) using cytokinin-based media As an alternative to the usual auxin-based indirect regeneration method, cytokinin-induced direct adventitious shoot development and somatic embryogenesis were studied using mature cotyledons of UPS 122 and Kade 6/16 cultivars of the winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC). Explants were cultured on two basal media, Murashige and Skoog’s (MS) and Gamborg’s B5 salts and vitamins, containing varying concentrations of N6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and 6(g,-g-dimethylallymino) purine (2iP). Changes in orientation of explants in media contributed to differences in response. The highest numbers of adventitious shoots were developed on explants cultured on MS media containing cytokinin mixtures. Averages of 9.6 and 8.6 adventitious shoots per explant were obtained for Kade 6/16 and UPS 122, respectively, on MS medium containing 11.1 µM BAP and 12.3 µM 2iP. Simultaneously, there was also a direct regeneration of adventitious shoots and somatic embryos on the adaxial surface of explants cultured with their abaxial surfaces on the medium. The embryos were found mainly towards the distal ends of the explants, while the adventitious shoots had their regions of concentration towards the axes of the explants. Wounding of the explants and the part of explant in contact with the MS media containing high concentrations of BAP stimulated direct somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos were regenerated mainly on the wounds at the proximal end of the explants.

By G.Y.P. Klu  C.J.J.M. Raemakers  E. Jacobsen  A.M. van Harten  

published on No.131, in English
Page 63 to 69

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English

Sri Lanka brown dwarf (SLBD) coconuts: a potential coconut variety for future breeding A new coconut variety of nana, or the dwarf coconut of Sri Lanka, with brown nuts, petioles and inflorescence has been identified using AFLP DNA markers and comparison of morphological characters, precocity and breeding behaviour. This variety was named ‘Sri Lanka brown dwarf’.

By L. Perera  R.R.A. Peries  M.H.L. Padmasiri  

published on No.131, in English
Page 70 to 72

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English
Assessment of legume diversity in the highlands of North Vietnam-an on-going research project
Summary not availablee

By Bettina Heider  Axel Schmidt  Rainer Schultze-Kraft  Tran Dinh Long  

published on No.131, in English
Page 73 to 73

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English
TGIS (Tobacco Germplasm Information System)
Summary not availablee

By K. Sarala  R.V.S. Rao  H. Ravishankar  

published on No.131, in English
Page 74 to 74

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English
Living off Biodiversity: Exploring Livelihoods and Biodiversity Issues in Natural Resources Management
Summary not availablee


published on No.131, in English
Page 75 to 76

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English
The Darwin Technical Manual for Botanic Gardens
Summary not availablee


published on No.131, in English
Page 76 to 77

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L. Perera, R.R.A Peries, C. Perera, MHL Padmasiri and WMU Fernando describe (pp. 70-72) breeding potential of a new coconut variety-Sri Lanka Brown Dwarf (inflorescence shown).
IPGRI©


This newsletter, published under the joint auspices of the Bioversity International (Bioversity) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), features articles and reviews of developments in plant genetic resources, book reviews, news and notes on Bioversity activities.

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