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plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

STATE OF DIVERSITY OF

STATE OF DIVERSITY OF MAJOR AND MINOR CROPS are at risk from expanding agriculture and habitat loss. 122 Only EMBRAPA, Universidade de Brasilia (Nagib Nassar) and CIAT have a serious program for longterm conservation of wild Manihot. 123 The habitats of many populations are threatened by urbanization and expanding agriculture, especially in central Brazil. Effective collection and conservation are also compromised by the deficiencies in knowledge of taxonomy and phylogeny. Their ex situ conservation is difficult and needs intensive research to establish efficient and secure genebanks. 124 Safety duplication Safe duplication is not complete. 125 Documentation, characterization and evaluation Little documentation is available in national collections. A global database is an urgent priority. 126 Utilization Few countries engage in international exchange of cassava germplasm on a regular basis. 127 Major constraints to utilization is lack of accession information and difficulty of exchange. 128 Efforts needed to enhance utilization include disease indexing of accessions, development of better protocols for seed and in vitro conservation and cryoconservation, viability testing for pollen conservation, and improved seed germination protocols. 129 CIAT, jointly with IITA, has initiated a process to generate partially inbred genetic stocks as a source of desirable traits for facilitated exchange of germplasm. 130 Indexing methods for viruses that are exclusive to each continent are available and these need to be refined and made broadly available to genebank managers and quarantine agencies. 131 Role of crop in sustainable production systems Cassava is one of the most efficient crops in biomass production. In comparison with many other crops, it excels, under sub-optimal conditions, and can withstand drought conditions. Most cassava production is still based on landrace varieties, although this is changing quickly, especially in the past decade, and in selected countries like Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Thailand and Vietnam. Landraces are still used extensively in breeding programs as parents in crossing nurseries. 132 A4.2.6 State of potato genetic resources Since 1995, the yield of potato has been erratic from year to year, though showing an overall slight increase (see Fig. A4.2). Potato was cultivated in 2008 over a harvested area of 18 million hectares with a global production of 314 million tonnes. 133 The five highest producers in 2008 were China (18 percent of the global production), India (11 percent), the Russian Federation (9 percent), Ukraine and the United States of America (6 percent). 134 Potato is important to food security and income generation in the developing world. In 2005, global potato production originating in developing countries surpassed production levels in the developed world. 135 The genepool can be divided into four types of germplasm: 136 1. modern cultivars (and old varieties) of the common potato (Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum), the most cultivated potato subspecies in the world; 2. native cultivars, including local potato cultivars occurring in the center of diversity (seven to 12 species depending on taxonomic treatment); 3. wild relatives, consisting of wild tuber-bearing species and a few nontuber-producing species, occurring in the center of diversity (180 to 200 species depending on taxonomic treatment); 4. other germplasm or research material; all types of genetic stocks e.g., interspecific hybrids, breeding clones, genetically enhanced stocks, etc. In situ conservation status Farmers in the crop’s centre of origin and diversity, particularly in the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Peru, still maintain hundreds of native cultivars and thereby 319

APPENDIX 4 actively contribute to the ongoing in situ conservation and evolution of the cultivated potato. 137, 138, 139 A better understanding of effective strategies to support these farmers is urgently needed. Little is known about the in situ conservation status of wild potato species and efforts towards the conservation of important habitats of endemic species are, as yet, non-existent. Ex situ conservation status Globally, about 98,000 accessions can be found ex situ, 80 percent of which are maintained in 30 key collections. 140 Accessions are conserved as botanical seeds or vegetatively as tubers and in vitro plantlets. Latin American collections contain many native cultivars and wild relatives and the collections in Europe and North America contain modern cultivars and breeding materials, as well as wild relatives. 141 Genetic erosion and vulnerability One example of erosion: before modernization of agriculture, peasant farmers on the Island of Chiloé cultivated 800 to 1,000 varieties of potato, now one finds only about 270 varieties. 142 The cultivated Andean diploid species Solanum phureja is also reported to be vulnerable. 143, 144 A recent study on the effect of climate change predicts that 7 to 13 out of 108 wild potato species studied may become extinct. 145 Gaps and priorities In Chapter 3, it was summarized that the most useful genetic material has already been collected and there are currently few significant gaps. However, several Latin American collections are threatened by lack of funding and, if any of those were lost, it would result in important gaps in the overall coverage of the genepool in collections. The limited regeneration capacity is a constraint in all collections, especially for wild accessions and native cultivars. Genetic drift is becoming an issue in wild species collections where individual species are represented by too few accessions. 146 Critical functions for optimal conservation such as regeneration, documentation, storage, health control, 320 THE SECOND REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S PGRFA and safety duplication are not adequately performed in a number of genebanks. Several genebanks in Latin America and Russia do not have (access to) sufficient experience or facilities to keep the potato germplasm healthy. 147 The extent of new collecting of wild material and monitoring of the conservation status of localized vulnerable populations in the centre of diversity has been very limited in the past 10 years. Approximately 30 wild species are not yet represented in collections and may still need to be collected. In addition, for another 25 wild species, fewer than three accessions are present in the collections. In the Andean context, because on-farm conserved potato cultivars are vital for regional food security, confronting climate change and long-term conservation, there is a need to strengthen understanding of the dynamic in situ and ex situ conservation systems that support farmers’ livelihoods. 148 Safety duplication There is not in sufficient detail on how many accessions of potato are currently safety duplicated. 149 Documentation, characterization and evaluation National collection databases are incomplete and not accessible. Efforts to document and characterize in situ collections of wild and cultivated species and their inherent infraspecific diversity are needed as a baseline for future research on genetic erosion, species loss, genetic drift and integrity. 150 Utilization Breeders prefer to use well-adapted germplasm of Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum, the most common potato, or research material with interesting properties. 151 Exotic germplasm has been used to great advantage, though relatively little has been used in comparison with the great breadth of materials available. The substantial amount of potato germplasm distributed to users indicates that germplasm is extensively used. There are, however, large differences

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    LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PROVIDED INF

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