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Sections > Latest issue > No.

English
Collecting and surveying landraces of pea (Pisum sativum) and faba bean (Vicia faba) in Qinghai province of China

Twenty-eight pea (Pisum sativum) landraces and 26 faba bean (Vicia sativa) landraces were collected from farmers across 10 counties in Qinghai province of north-west China during August and September 2004 by staff from Chinese and Australian institutes. Passport data of site descriptors and GPS observations were recorded for individual accessions, plus associated historical and sociological data on the source of the landrace, crop management, gender roles and seed use. The landrace histories revealed that some were introductions from other areas, and there was historical evidence for genetic erosion. Specific gender roles were reported for some crop management operations, but not for choice of variety. No ethnic influence was detected on retention of landrace, cropping system or end use amongst the five ethnic groups interviewed.

By He Chenbang  Liu Yujiao  Wu Kunlun  Yuan Mingyi  Feng Qinhua  Liu Yang  Yan Qingbiao  Guan Jianping  I.A. Rose  D. Enneking  R.J. Redden  

published on No.156, in English
Page 1 to 10

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English
Collection of pea (Pisum sativum) and faba bean (Vicia faba) germplasm in Yunnan

Two germplasm collection missions were undertaken in Yunnan Province, China, in 2004 and 2005, as part of a joint project between China and Australia for improvement of pea (Pisum sativum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) production. One objective of this project was the collection and exchange of pea and faba bean germplasm from under-represented priority regions of western China, specifically in Yunnan and Qinghai provinces. This paper reports on collection missions in eastern and in southern Yunnan. A total of 67 faba bean and 65 pea landraces were collected, with documentation of GPS site coordinates and physical characteristics, and of associated agro-economic and historical data on the cultivation of these landraces. Many but not all landraces were ancestral, possibly selected for long-term adaptation to the local environment at respective sites, but food/feed usage neither related to ethnicity nor to geographic location. Gender roles in agriculture were important, but on limited data appeared unrelated to either ethnicity or retention of landraces. There was evidence for genetic erosion, with the presence of modern varieties at many locations.

By Bao Shiying  He Yuhua  Zong Xuxiao  Wang Liping  Li Lichi  D. Enneking  I.A. Rose  T. Leonforte  J. Paull  R.J. Redden  

published on No.156, in English
Page 11 to 22

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English
Mortality of Mexican coconut germplasm due to lethal yellowing

Mortality due to lethal yellowing (LY) was recorded over 15 years for five coconut ecotypes representative of the diversity of coconut germplasm cultivated in Mexico. The trial was established in 1991 in an area of active LY outbreaks on the northern coast of Yucatan, Mexico, using a three block design with random distribution of the ecotypes within each block. The ecotypes included the susceptible Mexican Atlantic Tall (MXAT) and the resistant Malayan Yellow Dwarf (MYD), both used as references, and three Pacific Tall (PT) ecotypes, MXPT1, MXPT2 and MXPT3, to be tested. Parametric and non-parametric variance analyses of the results indicated significant differences (p<0.05) in mortality percentages among ecotypes and between blocks and no ecotype–environment interaction. Mortality was very high in MXAT and very low in MYD, similar to previous results in Jamaica. PT ecotypes had intermediate mortality percentages; mortality was low in MXPT1 and MXPT2 and not statistically different from that in MYD, while mortality was higher in MXPT3 and not statistically different from that in MXAT. According to these results we should expect that LY will cause lower mortality in coconut populations on the Pacific coasts, where most of the germplasm is MXPT, than the mortality rate observed in the Gulf of Mexico, where most of the germplasm is MXAT. MXPT1 and especially MXPT2 could be recommended (a) for replanting programmes; (b) as male parents for the production of dwarf × tall hybrids with the resistant MYD; and (c) for the selection of elite individuals with improved productivity for propagation purposes.

By D. Zizumbo-Villarreal  P. Colunga-GarcíaMarín  M. Fernández-Barrera  N. Torres-Hernández  C. Oropeza  

published on No.156, in English
Page 23 to 33

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English
Ecogeographic genetic erosion, seed systems and conservation of plant genetic resources in Kabale highlands, Uganda

The study examined the extent and underlying causes of genetic erosion, identified farmers’ seed sources and exchange systems and documented conservation practices in the Kabale highlands of south-western Uganda. Data were collected using pre-tested structured questionnaires from a random sample of 120 farmers from six parishes. The analysis revealed substantial loss of traditional varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomea batatas), potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and peas (Pisum sativum). More than 18, 7, 9, and 3 varieties, respectively were reported to have been lost completely. The most frequently mentioned underlying cause of genetic erosion (cited by 93.7% of the farmers) was introduction of new varieties. Other causes were lack of market (68.8%), diseases (45.6%), shortage of land (41.9%), pests (33.4%), shortage of labour (23.5%), change in weather (19.6%) and loss of soil fertility (15.8%). Farmers relied mainly on their own seed for traditional varieties (81.5% of farmers), while nearly half of farmers obtained seed of new or modern varieties by cash purchase from the market. The exchange of seeds of modern varieties between the farmers was common practice. This has resulted in rapid and wide spread of modern varieties and has contributed to the abandonment of the traditional cultivars. Farmers maintained field stocks of vegetatively propagated crop species. For seed-propagated crops farmers mainly stored dried seeds in gunny sacks in their houses. Very few farmers employed traditional seed storage methods. The loss of landraces is a threat to national food security. Without adequate reservoirs of diverse genetic resources, future genetic improvement programmes will be jeopardized. There is therefore an urgent need to collect, document, conserve and utilize the traditional varieties and formulate policies that will protect them from further genetic erosion. Farmers and policy-makers should be sensitized on the value of maintaining crop genetic diversity.

By D. Kiambi  E.N. Sabiiti  J.W. Mulumba  Y. Mbabwine  

published on No.156, in English
Page 33 to 41

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English
Agricultural biodiversity in Grecìa and Bovesìa, the two Griko-speaking areas in Italy

In September 2007 a collecting mission was carried out in Grecìa and Bovesìa, the two Griko-speaking areas in Italy. The primary objectives of the mission were to collect samples of local plant genetic resources together with data (e.g. ethnobotany, genetic and phenotypic variation, degree of genetic erosion) useful to breeders and genebank curators. A total of 293 accessions were collected from 57 sites, mainly cereals, pulses and vegetables. Uncommon landraces and relic crops were found, including ‘mugnoli’ (a botanical form of Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck), ‘meloncella’ (a typical cucumber melon traditionally cultivated for its unripe fruits) and the very rare ‘lenticchia nera’ (Vicia articulata Hornem.). The results indicate strong genetic erosion of autochthonous landraces and the urgent need of their protection both in situ and ex situ.

By K. Hammer  F. Martignano  V. Falco  B.R.G. Traclò  

published on No.156, in English
Page 43 to 49

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English
Characterization of total salt soluble seed storage proteins of grain legumes using SDS-PAGE

Sodium dodecylsulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was used to characterize the total salt soluble seed storage proteins of 149 different accessions of nine grain legumes, viz. Cajanus cajan, Vigna radiata, Vigna mungo, Vigna unguiculata, Phaseolus vulgaris, Pisum sativum, Cicer arietinum, Lens culinaris and Glycine max. Each of the species showed a distinct banding pattern. Based on banding pattern, Vigna radiata showed the highest intraspecific variation, followed by Vigna unguiculata, Pisum sativum and Phaseolus vulgaris. Variations among accessions of Cajanus cajan, Vigna mungo, Cicer arietinum, Lens culinaris and Glycine max were not significant. Further protein bands was scored for presence or absence and genetic distance was calculated using the UPGMA procedure and a dendrogram was constructed. The dendrogram resulted in three distinct clusters representing three different tribes as revealed by conventional classification based on morphological characters.

By N. Malviya  S. Nayak  D. Yadav  

published on No.156, in English
Page 50 to 56

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English
Variability in seed and seedling traits of Celtis australis Linn. in Central Himalaya, India

This investigation deals with genetic variability in seed and seedling traits of different populations of Celtis australis. Significant (p<0.01) provenance variations were recorded for the traits except for seed germination. On average, seed weight, shoot dry weight, shoot length and root dry weight exhibited more variability. Heritability and genetic gain were higher for seed weight and seed length than other traits. For seedling traits, heritability was moderately higher, except for seed germination in nursery. Wide variability observed in seed traits could be utilized for genetic improvement in this promising agroforestry tree crop of Central Himalaya, India.

By B.P. Bhatt  B. Singh  

published on No.156, in English
Page 57 to 62

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English
Wild edible tubers (Dioscorea spp.) and their contribution to the food security of tribes of Jeypore tract, Orissa, India

The study examined the conservation and utilization of wild edible tubers (Dioscorea spp.) in Jeypore tract, Orissa, India. Data were collected from three tribal communities residing in 15 villages, using a pre-structured questionnaire, joint forest visits, focus group discussions and market surveys. It was found that nine tuber species contributed to household diets during time of both normal food availability and during food shortages days. They also contributed to enhanced household income. Collecting, processing and marketing of tubers were found to be gender and age specific. The study shows that overexploitation due to population growth and reduced forest cover is one of the major threats to the wild tubers. The findings suggest that: a) public awareness and community based management is the appropriate approach for conservation; b) investigation of the phytochemical analysis of the tubers can be done to learn their nutritional and medicinal properties; and c) dissemination of knowledge is necessary for ex situ conservation, domestication and enhancement of these wild edible tubers.

By S. Mishra  S. Swain  S.S. Chaudhury  T. Ray  

published on No.156, in English
Page 63 to 67

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English
Genetic variation within and among the populations of Podophyllum hexandrum Royle (Podophyllaceae) in western Himalaya

Podophyllum hexandurm Royle (Himalayan mayapple) is an important medicinal plant growing in higher regions of western Himalaya. Due to overexploit-ation, the populations of P. hexandrum are decreasing in size. This could lead to loss of genetic diversity and compromise species survival. This study used RAPD analysis to estimate genetic variation and determine genetic structure in five geographically distinct populations of P. hexandrum. The analysis revealed high molecular diversity within populations as well among populations. The Pangi and Kukumseri populations were geographically isolated from the other three populations and were subject to less anthropogenic pressure, but showed little within-population genetic diversity. Populations from the Great Himalayan Nation Park and Chamba were subject to greater anthropogenic pressure but showed high within-population genetic diversity. Gene flow between the populations was evident from the RAPD analysis; populations exposed to higher anthropogenic pressure showed higher gene flow and greater genetic similarity with nearby populations. The more-isolated populations, Pangi and Kukumseri, showed less genetic similarity with other populations and less gene flow. Pangi and Kukumseri populations should be investigated for their genetic isolation.

By A. Kharkwal  Dharam Singh  Subramani Rajkumar  P.S. Ahuja  

published on No.156, in English
Page 68 to 72

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English
Morpho-agronomic diversity of hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet) accessions from Bangladesh

A study was conducted of the morpho-agronomic diversity among 88 accessions of hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet) from 14 districts of Bangladesh. Considerable variation was observed in all 15 qualitative and 15 quantitative characters assessed. Among the quantitative traits the highest coefficient of variation was found in peduncle length, followed by rachis length, number of flowering nodes per peduncle and yield per plant; the lowest coefficient of variation was in days to first pod maturity. D2 analysis grouped the accessions into seven morpho-agronomic clusters. No relationship was found between geographic origin and clustering. These findings were confirmed by results of canonical analysis. Further investigation using molecular techniques is recommended to assist in establishing a core collection for the crop.

By Md. Tariqul Islam  

published on No.156, in English
Page 73 to 78

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Collection of seed of a pea landrace from harvested bundles in a farmer's field in Gonghe county, Qinghai province, China (discussed by Redden et al. on pp. 1-10). Photo: Dirk Enneking.


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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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