Crop wild relatives - looking at trends in genetic diversity to inform conservation strategies


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Presentation given by Elena Fiorino, Imke Thormann and Ehsan Dullo from Bioversity International on the closing day of the International Horticultural Congress 2014.

In their presentation they tackle questions such as 'Why is in situ conservation of crop wild relatives important?' and 'How can we develop in situ conservation strategies?'

Watch this video to learn more about crop wild relatives and why they are the cornerstone of agriculture:

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  • Difference between collecting mission and collecting trip in the context of the IBPGR missions:
    A collecting mission often took place in different countries and/or different time periods. Collecting missions were therefore subdivided in single collecting trips, each collecting trip identified by a single target country and a specific collecting period.

    Passport data and mission reports exist for about 80% of the samples

  • Last two bullets introduce following slides. The following slides are examples of groups of CWR collected from one country or a single species collected from different countries.

  • CN390F – Jordan 1981
    Distribution to NordGen probably via Syrian National Program/genebank

    100 seeds per accession for repatriation: this is the quantity that Bilal assumes as standard.

    Repatriation to Jordan probably in 1999?

  • Other countries where wild barley was collected was in Greece and Turkey.
  • Crop wild relatives - looking at trends in genetic diversity to inform conservation strategies

    1. 1. Assessing trends in genetic diversity to inform in situ conservation strategies for crop wild relatives Thormann I, Fiorino E, Dulloo ME 4th International Symposium on Plant Genetic Resources: Genetic Resources for Climate Change at 29th International Horticultural Congress, 17 - 22 August 2014, Brisbane, Australia
    2. 2. 2 Crop wild relatives (CWR) Crop wild relatives are increasingly important for present and future agricultural development, as they provide adapted genes and traits for crop improvement, even more so under changing climate. (Hajjar and Hodgkin 2007; Maxted et al. 2012, McCouch, 2013; Dempewolf et al, 2014, etc)
    3. 3. 3 Why is in situ conservation of crop wild relatives important? • To allow for crop wild relatives populations to continue to evolve in their natural habitats and adapt to changing environmental conditions; • To capture the evolving traits in crop wild relatives that might be useful for plant breeders and farmer for current and future use
    4. 4. 4 Developing in situ conservation strategies • Overview of diversity and current conservation/threat status • Prior knowledge about population structure, demography, distribution of genetic diversity in target species across their areas of occurrence; • Access to these information is important to develop in situ conservation strategies management plans and Strategic Action Plans • Inform policymakers of what conservation interventions are required for effective management and monitoring of target populations
    5. 5. 5 Assessing and monitoring trends and loss in genetic diversity • Requires knowledge about existing diversity • Temporal dimension: at least 3 data points are needed or historical information known • Potential sources: Plant germplasm collections can provide past snapshots of diversity and data for re-collection for assessment of current diversity • One example: Bioversity International’s collecting missions database
    6. 6. • 1000 collecting trips between 1975 and 2012 • 226,618 samples collected, of which ca. 85% between 1975- 6 Bioversity International collecting missions database 1995 • 27% of collected samples are wild species • 25% of trips collected only wild species • Passport data and collecting mission reports for most samples available
    7. 7. 7 Crop wild relatives’ samples in Bioversity International’s Collecting Database • 60,000 (27%) of collected samples are wild species collected from 115 different countries • 73% of wild samples are geo-referenced • Numerous examples of – groups of species collected from the same country – single species collected from several countries 53.20% 7.60% 10.40% 7.60% 9.40% 11.80% Forages Cereals Legumes Roots and Tubers Vegetables Others
    8. 8. 8 CWR samples in Bioversity International’s Collecting Missions Database Group of species collected from same country: forage legumes in Syria Note: shows only species for which more than 50 geo-referenced samples were collected during a collecting trip
    9. 9. 9 CWR samples in Bioversity International’s Collecting Missions Database Single species collected from several countries: Prosopis africana in Africa Note: shows only species for which more than 50 geo-referenced samples were collected during a collecting trip
    10. 10. 10 Potential applications Fills data gap for CWR diversity assessment studies Unique link between original passport data, additional collecting documentation and genebank accession numbers allows to: • Identify coherent set of samples/sites collected at the same time/way (historic snapshot of diversity) • Re-visit old collecting sites and re-sample CWR • Retrieve original material in genebanks • Assess temporal variation in genetic diversity and current vulnerability and threat • Inform conservation actions • Comparative studies among species and different eco-geographic realities • Investigate effects of climate change Original passport data corresponding genebank accession original collecting documentation Example • No changes in varietal diversity at national level • Significant shift in adaptive traits: shorter life cycle, reduction in plant and spike size
    11. 11. 11 Successful implementation: re-collection of barley in Jordan • In 2012 re-visited the sites where wild barley and LRs were collected in 1981 – Verified collecting sites based on coordinates and location description – Re-collected wild barley from 32 old sites – Collecting of wild barley samples also from additional sites in reserves – Re-collected landraces from 26 old sites Verification with Google earth and gazetteers
    12. 12. 12 Tracking of 1981 samples: distribution and conservation of samples in genebanks ICARDA Syria NordGen Sweden NCARE Jordan July 1982 LR in1981; CWR in 1982; about 50-60 g/acc repatriation after 1996; 100 seeds/acc? R = 1- 2 LR in 1985 or 1996; CWR in 1994. R = 2 for some CWR R = 0 never integrated in collection, kept in freezers R = 0 R = regeneration or multiplication cycles LR = landrace CWR = crop wild relative IPK Germany transfer in 2012 Jordan? ??
    13. 13. 13 Common garden in IPK – growing season 2013 • Growing season 2013 • Wild barley and landrace samples from 1981 and 2012 + 5 control accessions • Leaf tissue and phenotypic trait data collection on 16 individuals per accession
    14. 14. 14 Preliminary results from re-collecting trip and common garden • In most sites wild barley populations are still there, however – at the Eastern border of the collecting area some sites have become too dry (both for wild barley and landraces) – Small residual populations where barley cultivation is abandoned due to land use change or change from cereal cultivation to orchards – Barley still growing on field margins of barley fields like in 1981 • Wild barley populations thrive better in disturbed habitats, significantly smaller in undisturbed habitats. • Wild barley populations are taller and have more tillers in 1981 compared to 2012 • Growth habit is prevalently prostrate in 1981 while intermediate growth habit dominates in 2012 samples. • No significant difference in days to heading and maturity • Molecular markers studies on all the samples and accessions are currently ongoing
    15. 15. Thank you