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Toward a US National Strategy for the Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives Priority Genepools and Taxa
Research Process Inventory of CWR and Utilized Taxa in the US Taxonomic Prioritization (crop genepool and taxa) Gap Analysis and Threat Assessment Conservation Strategies and RecommendationsCollecting and Storage Ex Situ In Situ Establishment and Management
National InventoryMethod-Inclusive of wide range of utilized and potentially useful taxa,including both native and naturalized taxa occurring in the US(including Hawaii (Puerto Rico?). Taxa directly used for food, ﬁber, forage, medicine, ornamental, and restoration purposes CWR taxa
Deﬁning Crop Wild RelativesCWR deﬁnition- “a wild plant taxon that has an indirect usederived from its relatively close genetic relationship to a crop;this relationship is deﬁned in terms of the CWR belonging toGene Pools 1 or 2, or taxon groups 1 to 4 of the crop” (Maxted etal. 2006)Adapted method includes Genepool 3- some are useful tobreeding, and also useful for other research purposesFunctionally deﬁned by genusSome crops have multiple genera contributing to genepool (e.g.maize, carrot, beet, wheat, banana)
National InventoryResults: 3,000 taxa work in progress
Taxonomic Priorities- what taxa are likely to be most useful?Crop deﬁnition- “a plant...or plant product…that can be grown andharvested extensively for proﬁt or subsistence” (Webster’s 2011)Major crops for food and economy- have modern (improved)cultivar forms and active breeding programs.primary focus on the plant species known to, or with the potentialto, contribute to agriculture through crop breeding.The national strategy is a conservation strategy prioritizing speciesbased upon their potential use value- to food production and foodsecurity, and to the economy.
Top Crops Worldwide, and US IconicsMethod-Gather data on major crops globally (FAOSTAT, publishedliterature, ITPGRFA)Prioritize the list (Priority 1, Priority 2)Identify genera in genepools of priority cropsReview inventory and add additional genepools to priorities- CWR,and Iconic Directly Utilized Speciessugar maple (Acer saccharum), wild rice (Zizania spp.), medicinalspecies of Echinacea, pine nut species of Pinus, pecan (Caryaillinoinensis, jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and the alcohol/sugartaxa of Agave- taxa added (but not CWR)
Top Crops Worldwide, and US IconicsResults: 255 crops/ 281 genera Priority 1- 108 crops/ 126 genera Priority 2- 147 crops/ 155 genera. This list certainly includes all the most important agricultural crops around the world by a number of measures, and covers all crops listed in FAOSTAT for US production and food supply, with virtually all major US crops on Priority 1. The list should cover the great majority of the world’s crops with major breeding programs
Proposal for Taxonomic Priorities for the USResults: 2,489 taxa in 159 Priority genera occur in the US- Priority 1- 904 taxa in 74 genera Priority 2- 1,108 taxa in 85 genera Need to further prioritize!Especially species rich native genepools of important crops include Allium (onion),Cucurbita (squash), Fragaria (strawberry), Helianthus (sunﬂower), Ilex (maté), Ipomoea (sweetpotato), Lactuca (lettuce), Phaseolus (bean), Prunus (cherry, almond, peach), Ribes (currant),Rubus (raspberry), Saccharum (sugar cane), Trifolium (clover), Vaccinium (blueberry,cranberry), and Vitis (grape)
Proposal for Taxonomic Priorities for the USFocus on Priority 1 crop genepools (with edits by you!)Closely related taxa (GP1/2), and more distant taxa that are known to be utilized in cropbreeding, will be subjected to the full gap analysis for identiﬁcation of collectingpriorities, and for in situ conservation considerations.Distantly related taxa (GP3) - a superﬁcial gap analysis will identify taxa not conservedex situ by at least a few populations, and prioritize these for additional collecting.Generally no in situ analysis for Genepool 3 taxa.Include listed threatened and rare species in Priority 1 genepools (incl GP3) in strategyIdentify the non-native taxa of particular interest with your guidance (generally GP1/GP2), and include identiﬁed taxa in the ex situ gap analysis.This method certainly covers the richest genepools of native diversity occurring in theUS that have the potential to contribute to crop improvement, and attempts to cover themajor iconic wild species directly utilized for food/medicine as well.
Critical Input by YOUExamine Priority 1, de-prioritize crops/genera that are minor crops or that lack breedingprograms. Some potentials: Ilex (21 taxa), Lathyrus (31 taxa), Linum (21 taxa), Papaver (14taxa), Trifolium (96 taxa), and Vicia (as fava bean has no close relatives; 14 taxa). Examine Priority 2 crops/genera, and suggest any crop genepools worthy of re-prioritization at Priority 1. Some potential suggestions: Humulus, Physalis, Castanea,Mentha, or Nicotiana.Examine national inventory and identify taxa of high direct use value, or within cropgenepools of importance not already listed. Forages, ornamentals, medicinals, oil andindustrial crops knowledge gap.Once Priority crops are more clearly established, input on which taxa within eachgenepool that are in GP3 or are naturalized in the US are useful and should be includedin gap analysis.Sharing of occurrence records that you curate for all priority taxa with the projectInput on the results of the gap analysis