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Enhancing Crop Genepool Use: Capturing Wild Relative and Landrace Diversity for Crop Improvement

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Maintaining food security in the face of human population increase and climate change is one of the critical challenges facing us in the 21st Century. Utilisation of the full range of agrobiodiversity will be a necessary tool in addressing this challenge. In this book a team of international contributors review all aspects of utilization and conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) and landrace (LR) diversity as a basis for crop improvement and future food security. This book will appeal to a wide array of specialists and postgraduate students, such as those working in the fields of agrobiodiversity conservation and use, conservation, ecology, botany, genetics, plant breeding and agriculture.

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1: Using Phenomics and Genomics to Unlock Landrace and Wild Relative Diversity for Crop Improvement

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1 

Using Phenomics and Genomics to

Unlock Landrace and Wild Relative

Diversity for Crop Improvement

B. Vosman,1* K. Pelgrom,1 G. Sharma,2 R. Voorrips,1 C. Broekgaarden,1

J. Pritchard,2 S. May,3 S. Adobor,3 M. Castellanos-Uribe,3 M. van Kaauwen,1

R. Finkers,1 B. Janssen,4 W.T. van Workum4 and B.V. Ford-Lloyd2

1

Wageningen UR Plant Breeding, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 2School of

Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 3University of Nottingham,

Loughborough, UK; 4ServiceXS, Leiden, the Netherlands

1.1  Introduction

At present, it is not possible to feed the world population without the application of insecticides, and with the predicted growth of the human population, problems are expected to increase.

Worldwide yield losses caused by insects would be at least 30–50% were no insecticides used.

However, the use of pesticides is hazardous to the environment and usually not very durable, as insects develop resistance against pesticides very rapidly. Another factor that may have profound effects on the interaction between insects and plants is climate change. Climate change may potentially disturb plant–insect interactions directly and indirectly. It can change population development and distribution patterns of the pest insect, as well as of its natural enemies

 

2: Pre-domesticating Wild Relatives as New Sources of Novel Genetic Diversity

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Pre-domesticating Wild Relatives as New Sources of Novel

Genetic Diversity

D. Falk*

Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

2.1  Introduction

Wild relatives of many domesticated crop species have been used mainly as a source of specific genes for increased disease resistance. It is often difficult to exploit these genepools efficiently because they lack a number of essential traits necessary for cultivation and management using modern agricultural technology. Many of these traits were developed in our modern crops as part of the process of domestication. These traits are usually associated with seed dispersal, seed size, seed coats and seed dormancy, which are essential to survival in the wild but undesirable in domesticated crops. By incorporating these

‘domestic’ traits into the wild species, they may be managed using standard farming methods. It would then be easier to select desirable gene combinations within these diverse and variable populations, and introgress these selected traits more effectively into modern, elite germplasm and cultivars. Cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare) and its wild progenitor, Hordeum spontaneum, are used as a model to employ the proposed methodology and illustrate the increased efficiency and effectiveness of this approach to taming wild relative germplasm. By ‘pre-domesticating’ a series of diverse populations of H. spontaneum and conducting breeding and selection within these

 

3: Unravelling Quinoa Domestication with Wild Ancestors

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Unravelling Quinoa Domestication with Wild Ancestors

D. Bertero1* and A. Alercia2

Faculty of Agronomy, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina;

2

Bioversity International, Rome, Italy

1

3.1  Introduction

Little known a few years ago to the general public and to most scientists in the field of agriculture, the Andean crop quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) made a sudden appearance in the international community. A combination of traits made this species known not only to consumers (because of the high nutritional quality of the seeds) but also to crop physiologists and experts in agriculture for marginal lands. The only edible seed-producing halophyte, the high tolerance of quinoa to salinity made it a model plant for research, with a number of articles published in just a few years (see Jellen et  al.,

2013, for a more detailed revision). Quinoa also shows a very high tolerance to water deficits and low temperatures (Jacobsen et al., 2003), which explains why this is the only species growing under rain-fed conditions in the southern highlands of Bolivia, where a cold and dry environment limits agriculture, lacking a frost-free period, with poor soils and frequent salinity problems and with an average rainfall of c.150 mm/year.

 

4: Screening Wild Vigna Species and Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) Landraces for Sources of Resistance to Striga gesnerioides

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4 

Screening Wild Vigna Species and

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) Landraces for Sources of Resistance to Striga gesnerioides

O. Oyatomi,1* C. Fatokun,1 O. Boukar,1 M. Abberton1 and C. Ilori2

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria; 2Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

1

4.1  Introduction

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.), also known as black-eyed or southern pea, belongs to the genus Vigna, section Catiang, species unguiculata.

It comprises four subspecies, namely: unguiculata, stenophylla, dekindtiana and tenuis (Ng and

Marechal, 1985). The subspecies unguiculata is the only one cultivated, while the other three are wild relatives. Subspecies unguiculata is itself subdivided into four cultivar groups (cv-gr) namely

Unguiculata, Biflora, Sesquipedalis and Textilis

(Westphal, 1974). The cv-gr unguiculata is the most diverse of the four and is widely grown in

 

5: Wild Lactuca saligna: A Rich Source of Variation for Lettuce Breeding

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5 

Wild Lactuca saligna: A Rich

Source of Variation for Lettuce Breeding

A. Lebeda,1* E. Krˇístková,1 M.Kitner,1 B. Mieslerová1 and D.A. Pink2

Palacký University in Olomouc, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany,

Olomouc-Holice, Czech Republic; 2Harper Adams University, Newport, UK

1

5.1  Introduction

An amazing diversity of leaf forms and colours, shape of heads and suitability for various cultivation procedures can be observed in cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa L., fam. Asteraceae). This is the only cultivated species within the group of 99 species of the genus Lactuca (Lebeda et al.,

2004b), and the high degree of variation results from intense breeding. The main aim of exploitation of wild relatives of lettuce in lettuce breeding is to introduce resistance to diseases and pests; however, they can also be sources of new plant morphotypes. Willow-leaf lettuce (Lactuca saligna L.) is a modest looking plant, with beauty hidden in large variation of fine details on leaves, stem and flowers, with richness of internal features (e.g. secondary metabolites) and with great potential to be exploited in lettuce breeding programmes for economically important features (Lebeda et al., 2007).

 

6: Capturing Wild Relative and Landrace Diversity for Crop Improvement Using a New Selection Tool to Exploit Genetic Resources in Durum Wheat (Triticum durum Desf.)

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Capturing Wild Relative and Landrace

Diversity for Crop Improvement Using a

New Selection Tool to Exploit Genetic

Resources in Durum Wheat (Triticum durum Desf.)

D. Pignone,1,2* D. De Paola,1 N. Rapanà1 and M. Janni1

Institute of Bioscience and Bioresources, National Research Council

(CNR), Bari, Italy; 2Department of Biology Agriculture and Food Science,

National Research Council (CNR), Rome, Italy

1

6.1  Introduction

Wheat is one of the oldest crops, domesticated at the very early beginning of agriculture. Originating in the Middle East within the Fertile Crescent, it moved along with human migrations to colonize almost the entire world. For centuries, the combined effect of adaptation to different environments and selection operated empirically on the basis of cultural factors brought the fixation of new alleles and traits in the genetic pool of this crop. Moreover, the wheat genepool is constituted by different ‘species’ with three levels of ploidy, i.e. 2×, 4× and 6×, which each correspond to a different breakthrough of the domestication process (Heun et  al., 1997; Lev-Yadun et al., 2006).

 

7: How the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS) is Used to Mine Plant Genetic Resources Collections for Adaptive Traits

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How the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS) is Used to Mine Plant Genetic Resources

Collections for Adaptive Traits

K. Street,1* A. Bari,1 M.Mackay2 and A. Amri1

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA),

Rabat, Morocco; 2Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

(QAAFI), The University of Queensland, Brisbane St Lucia, Australia

1

7.1  Introduction

With the world population estimated to reach

9.3 billion people by 2050 (United Nations,

2011), a 70% increase in global food production will be required (FAO, 2009). To put this into context, the demand for cereals alone will increase by nearly 1 billion more tonnes than the

2.1 billion tonnes required in 2009 (FAO, 2009).

What is more, our agroecosystems will face significant challenges from factors such as climate change, land degradation and water availability, as well as evolving pest and disease virulence.

 

8: Predictive Characterization Methods for Accessing and Using CWR Diversity

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Predictive Characterization Methods for Accessing and Using CWR Diversity

I. Thormann,1* M. Parra-Quijano,2 M.L. Rubio Teso,3 D.T.F. Endresen,4

S. Dias,1 J.M. Iriondo3 and N. Maxted5

1

Bioversity International, Rome, Italy; 2International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO, Rome, Italy; 3Universidad Rey Juan Carlos,

Madrid, Spain; 4UiO Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway;

5

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

8.1  Introduction

particular for CWR. Indeed, the lack of C&E data continues to be reported as one major limitation

The growing interest in crop wild relatives to the use of ex situ conserved plant genetic resources (PGR) (FAO, 2010), and traditional

(CWR) – wild progenitors or wild plant species ­ closely related to crops – as a source of adaptive characterization and evaluation methods cangenetic diversity in crop improvement and re- not catch up with the growing number of accessearch has led to: (i) gap analyses for targeted sions. Even fewer data are available for CWR ex  situ and in situ conservation (Maxted et al., populations conserved in situ. In situ C&E is not a

 

9: Keeping a Finger on the Pulse: Monitoring the Use of CWR in Crop Improvement

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Keeping a Finger on the Pulse:

Monitoring the Use of CWR in Crop Improvement

C. Smith*

Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva, Switzerland

9.1  Introduction

Fellow contributors to this issue present recent examples of crop wild relatives (CWR) contributing to crop improvement efforts and highlight how advancements in the field are facilitating increased use today. These cases are part of a larger trend in the use of CWR – one that is exceedingly difficult to quantify but that is otherwise fairly intuitive. Technological advancements in breeding, coupled with increasing environmental pressures, have incited crop scientists and breeders to look to more distantly related species for sources of required genetic variation. The CWR conservationist community has described this dynamic for nearly two decades (see, for example,

Maxted et al., 1997a,b). This trend is likely to continue in light of the burgeoning field of applied genomics, the availability of tools for predictive trait mining and improved collaboration in the context of ever more acute climate pressures.

 

10: Joining Up the Dots: A Systematic Perspective of Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Use

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10 

Joining Up the Dots: A Systematic

Perspective of Crop Wild Relative

Conservation and Use

N. Maxted,1* A. Amri,2 N.P. Castañeda-Álvarez,1,3 S. Dias,4 M.E. Dulloo,4

H. Fielder,1 B.V. Ford-Lloyd,1 J.M. Iriondo,5 J. Magos Brehm,1,6

L.-B. Nilsen,7 I. Thormann,4 H. Vincent1 and S.P. Kell1

1

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK;

2

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Rabat,

Morocco; 3International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia;

4

Bioversity International, Rome, Italy; 5Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid,

Spain; 6Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da

Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; 7Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Zurich (ETHZ), Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL),

Zurich, Switzerland

. . . it appears strange to me that so many of our cultivated plants should still be unknown or only doubtfully known in the wild state.

 

11: Europe’s Crop Wild Relative Diversity: From Conservation Planning to Conservation Action

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11 

Europe’s Crop Wild Relative Diversity:

From Conservation Planning to Conservation Action

S.P. Kell,* B.V. Ford-Lloyd and N. Maxted

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

11.1  Introduction

11.1.1  The value of Europe’s crop wild relative diversity

Europe has a wealth of native and endemic diversity of wild species related to crops of regional and global socio-economic importance. Heywood and Zohary (1995) drew attention to the significance of crop wild relative (CWR) diversity in the region, highlighting the ‘rich wild gene pools’ (p. 375) of several cereals, food legumes, fruit crops and vegetables, as well as aromatic plants, ornamentals and forestry crops. Examples include the native wild relative diversity of oats

(Avena sativa L.), sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.), carrot (Daucus carota L.), apple (Malus domestica

Borkh.), annual meadow grass (Festuca pratensis

Huds.), perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Many minor crop species have significant wild relative diversity in the region, including asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), sage

 

12: An Approach for In Situ Gap Analysis and Conservation Planning on a Global Scale

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12 

An Approach for In Situ Gap

Analysis and Conservation Planning on a Global Scale

H. Vincent,1* N.P. Castañeda-Álvarez1,2 and N. Maxted1

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK;

2

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia

1

12.1  Introduction

With the human population estimated to reach

9.6 billion by 2050 (United Nations, 2013), the increase in demand for food, combined with climate change, predicted increases in extreme weather events, reduced availability of natural resources and an increasingly animal-based diet globally is likely to overwhelm the current agricultural system (Godfray et al., 2010; Kastner et al., 2012). Furthermore, as climate change is predicted to reduce food crop production by up to

2% per decade until the end of the 21st century

(Porter et al., 2014), existing agricultural practices will need to adapt to ensure future food security (FAO et al., 2013). These adaptations

 

13: The Distributions and Ex Situ Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives: A Global Approach

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13 

The Distributions and Ex Situ

Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives:

A Global Approach

N.P. Castañeda-Álvarez,1,2* C.K. Khoury,1,3 C.C. Sosa,1 H.A. Achicanoy,1

V. Bernau,1 H. Vincent,2 A. Jarvis,1,4 P.C. Struik3 and N. Maxted2

1

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia;

2

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 3Centre for

Crop Systems Analysis, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands;

4

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

(CCAFS), Cali, Colombia

13.1  Introduction

In the coming decades, we will need to produce more food for a growing population, with less arable land, irrigation water and phosphorus available, while at the same time reducing the negative impacts of agriculture to the environment

(Rosegrant and Cai, 2001; Godfray et al., 2010).

This situation is worsened by the reduction of crop yields as a consequence of increasing temperatures and frequency of droughts, and of extreme weather events due to climate change (Porter et al.,

 

14: National Strategies for the Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives

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National Strategies for the

Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives

J.M. Iriondo,1* H. Fielder,2 H. Fitzgerald,3 S.P. Kell,2 J. Labokas,4

J. Magos-Brehm,2 V. Negri,5 J. Phillips,2 M.L. Rubio Teso,1

S. Sensen,6 N. Taylor7 and N. Maxted2

1

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain; 2University of Birmingham, Birmingham,

UK; 3Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Finland; 4Nature

Research Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania; 5University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy; 6Federal

Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Bonn, Germany; 7University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

14.1  Introduction

Most conservation policies are designed and implemented at the national level, including those that are executed in response to obligations contracted under international agreements.

Because of this, the success of the conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) greatly depends on the development of sound national strategies across many countries. While conservation policies for threatened species have been implemented routinely in most countries for the past three decades, the development of conservation actions for CWR at the national level is still in its preliminary stages.

 

15: Crop Wild Relatives: A Priority in Jordan? Developing a National Strategy for the Conservation of Plant Diversity in Jordan Using a Participatory Approach

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Crop Wild Relatives: A Priority in Jordan? Developing a National

Strategy for the Conservation of

Plant Diversity in Jordan Using a Participatory Approach

J. Magos Brehm,1,2* S. Saifan,3 H. Taifour,4 K. Abulaila,3 A. Al-Assaf,5

A. El-Oqlah,6 F. Al-Sheyab,3 R. Bani-Hani,7 S. Ghazanfar,8 N. Haddad,9

R. Shibli,10 T. Abu Taleb,4 B. bint Ali,4 and N. Maxted1

1

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, 2Centro de

Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon,

Portugal; 3National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension, Baq’a, Jordan;

4

Royal Botanic Garden, Tell Ar-Rumman, Jordan; 5Faculty of Agriculture, University of

Jordan, Amman, Jordan; 6Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan; 7Nature Protection

Directorate, Amman, Jordan; 8Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK; 9West Asia Regional

Program (WARP) ICARDA, Amman, Jordan; 10Department of Horticulture and Crop

 

16: Establishing Systematic Crop Wild Relative Conservation in the UK

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Establishing Systematic Crop Wild

Relative Conservation in the UK

H. Fielder,* B. Ford-Lloyd and N. Maxted

School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

16.1  Introduction

Conservation in the UK, as with other countries globally, can be divided between two communities: biodiversity and agrobiodiversity conservation, with the former characterized as rare/threatened species conservation and the latter focusing on crop varieties (Maxted, 2003). Crop wild relatives

(CWR) fall between these two communities, and this has resulted in a lack of conservation management or monitoring for these highly valuable resources. Though some incidental or ‘passive’ conservation may occur where CWR fall within protected area boundaries or have had seeds stored in genebanks as part of collection programmes for other purposes, this is not sufficient to ensure that the range of genetic diversity within them is safeguarded in the long term. It is the conservation of this breadth of genetic diversity that is crucial, as it will enable plant breeders to exploit this to produce improved crop varieties that are able to withstand the impacts of a changing climate.

 

17: Optimized Site Selection for the In Situ Conservation of Forage CWR: A Combination of Community - and Genetic-level Perspectives

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17 

Optimized Site Selection for the

In Situ Conservation of Forage CWR:

A Combination of Community- and

Genetic-level Perspectives

M.L. Rubio Teso,* K. Kinoshita Kinoshita and J.M. Iriondo

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Departamento de Biología, Geología,

Física y Química Inorgánica, Madrid, Spain

17.1  Introduction

Climate change has been studied by now from many points of view: macro- and microecological impacts, changes to biodiversity at all levels, economical variations, sanitary threats, etc., all of them crucial to humankind. The impacts of global change on food security and crop production are topics that concern governments and scientists all over the world. The impact of climate change on crop production and yields has been studied for some time now and an increase in food insecurity, especially in countries with ongoing problems of undernourishment and hunger, has been forecast (Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994;

Wheeler and Brown, 2013). Threats to food security include an increase in the frequency of extreme climate events (such as frosts, high intensity of rains and droughts) and the incidence of new weeds, pests and pathogens that can decrease crop yields dramatically. The development of new adaptations and the improvement of the adjustment capacity of crops will be the key factor in the next century for safeguarding food security (Lozte-Campen, 2011). According to the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel

 

18: Developing a Crop Wild Relative Conservation Strategy for Finland

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18 

Developing a Crop Wild Relative

Conservation Strategy for Finland

H. Fitzgerald,1* H. Korpelainen2 and M. Veteläinen3

Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland;

2

Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland;

3

Boreal Plant Breeding Ltd, Jokioinen, Finland

1

18.1  Introduction

18.2  Methodology

Crop wild relatives (CWR) are wild plant species that are related to cultivated plants. CWR species have the potential to enhance agricultural production by allowing crops to survive through plant breeding in the new environmental conditions resulting from climate change and help in providing future food security. Since CWR are valuable wild species, mostly not included in conservation programmes and themselves often threatened or growing in threatened habitats, they require urgent research and conservation.

This article discusses the process of preparing the Finnish crop wild relative conservation strategy, which was created as part of the EU

 

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