Plant Genetic Resources: Conservation and Sustainable Use


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Plant genetic resources are the most valuable and essential basic raw materials to meet the current and future needs of crop improvement programs.
It has become increasingly clear during the last few decades that meeting the food needs of the world's growing population depends, to a large extent, on the conservation and use of the world's remaining plant genetic resources.

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Plant Genetic Resources: Conservation and Sustainable Use

  1. 1. Vivek Tripathi Plant Genetic Resources: - Conservation and Sustainable use 1. A species is described as the largest group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. 2. In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. 3. The difficulty of defining species is known as the species problem. 4. Ernst Mayr's 1942 book (Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist) was a turning point for the species problem. Biological Species Concept (BSC) 1. Ernst Mayr proposed the biological concept of species. 2. According to Ernst Mayr "All the members that can interbreed among themselves and can produce fertile off springs are the members of same species" 3. A species is a reproductive community of populations (reproductively isolated from others) that occupies a specific niche in nature (Mayr, 1982). 4. The biological species concept defines a species as members of populations that actually or potentially interbreed in nature, not according to similarity of appearance. Limitations of the Biological Species 1. The Limitations of the Biological Species concept is that it is completely dependent on sexual reproduction, it cannot be applied easily to asexual creatures. Since it's dependent on sexual reproduction, the species concept may be hard to apply to organisms that don't reproduce sexually. 2. It is difficult to apply to prokaryotes which can transfer genes on plasmids to dissimilar prokaryotes via bacterial conjugation. Some prokaryotes can pick up raw DNA from the environment (transformation). 3. The fact that horses and donkeys produce infertile mules is consistent with the biological species concept (BSC). 4. The fact that horses and donkeys produce infertile mules is consistent (of an argument) with the biological species concept (BSC). Centers of Diversity 1. A center of diversity is an area that has a high degree of genetic variation for a particular species or genus of plants that can also be the center of origin for that species. 2. A geographical area where a plant species, first developed its distinctive properties (in farmers’ fields or in the wild). 3. Crop diversity is the variation between and within crops and between crops and wild relatives. 4. The term was created by the Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov and the U.S. scientist Jack Harlan.
  2. 2. Vivek Tripathi Vavilov published a study in 1926 (Studies on the Origin of Cultivated Plants) describing ten such centers: 1. China for lettuce, rhubarb, soybean, and turnip. 2. India for cucumber, rice, mango, and Asian cotton. 3. Indochina for banana, coconut, and rice. 4. Central Asia (north India, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan) for almond, apple, flax, and lentil; 5. Near east for alfalfa, cabbage, and rye. 6. Coastal and adjacent areas of the Mediterranean Sea for celery, chickpeas, and durum wheat. 7. Ethiopia for coffee, grain sorghum, and pearl millet. 8. Southern Mexico and Middle America for maize, lima bean, papaya, and upland cotton. 9. Northwestern South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru) for potato, tomato, and Egyptian cotton. 10. Isles of Chile for potato. Center of Origin 1. Areas where the origin or the differentiation of a particular species or population took place are generally called "Centers of Origin". 2. The center of origin is a geographical area where a group of organisms, either domesticated or wild, first developed its distinctive properties. 3. Centers of origin are also considered centers of diversity. 4. A Vavilov Center (aka Vavilov Center of Diversity) is a region of the world first indicated by Dr. Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov to be an original center for the domestication of plants. 5. Vavilov developed a theory on the centers of origin of cultivated plants. 6. He stated that plants were not domesticated somewhere in the world at random but there are regions where the domestication started. The center of origin is also considered the center of diversity. 7. Until today Vavilov centers are regions where a high diversity of crop wild relatives can be found, representing the natural relatives of domesticated crop plants. Evolution of Crop Plants Wheat 1. Wheat (Triticum spp.) is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East and Ethiopian Highlands, but now cultivated worldwide. 2. Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the creation of domestic strains, as mutant forms ('sports') of wheat were preferentially chosen by farmers. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, and the seeds (inside the spikelet’s) remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting. In wild strains, a more fragile rachis allows the ear to easily shatter and disperse the spikelet’s. 3. Wheat is one of the first cereals known to have been domesticated, and wheat's ability to self- pollinate greatly facilitated the selection of many distinct domesticated varieties. The archaeological record suggests that this first occurred in the regions known as the Fertile Crescent.
  3. 3. Vivek Tripathi Barley 1. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain. It was one of the first cultivated grains and is now grown widely. 2. The Old English word for 'barley' was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European and is cognate to the Latin word farina "flour". The direct ancestor of modern English "barley" in Old English was the derived adjective bærlic, meaning "of barley". 3. Barley is a member of the grass family. It is a self-pollinating, diploid species with 14 chromosomes. The wild ancestor of domesticated barley, Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum, is abundant in grasslands and woodlands throughout the Fertile Crescent area of Western Asia and northeast Africa, and is abundant in disturbed habitats, roadsides and orchards. Outside this region, the wild barley is less common and is usually found in disturbed habitats. 4. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) grains found at archaeological sites in the Fertile Crescent indicate that about 10,000 years ago the crop was domesticated there from its wild relative Hordeum spontaneum. 5. Barley grain is a staple in Tibetan cuisine and was eaten widely by peasants in Medieval Europe. Barley has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages. Rice 1. Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after corn, according to data for 2010. 2. Rice is normally grown as an annual plant, although in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial and can produce a ratoon crop for up to 30 years. 3. There have been plenty of debates on the origins of the domesticated rice. Genetic evidence published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) shows that all forms of Asian rice, both indica and japonica, spring from a single domestication that occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago in China of the wild rice Oryza rufipogon. 4. A 2012 study published in Nature, through a map of rice genome variation, indicated that the domestication of rice occurred in the Pearl River valley region of China. From East Asia, rice was spread to South and Southeast Asia. Before this research, the commonly accepted view, based on archaeological evidence, is that rice was first domesticated in the region of the Yangtze River valley in China. 5. Rice cultivation on wetland rice fields is thought to be responsible for 1.5% of the anthropogenic methane emissions. Rice requires slightly more water to produce than other grains.
  4. 4. Vivek Tripathi Maize 1. Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. 2. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. 3. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. 4. The region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. 5. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed and as chemical feedstocks. 6. Maize (Zea mays), known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Maize kernels are often used in cooking as a starch. 7. Zea is a genus of true grasses in the family Poaceae. Several species are commonly known as teosintes and are found in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Cotton 1. Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will tend to increase the dispersion of the seeds. 2. Cotton was used in the Old World at least 7,000 years ago (5th millennium BC). 3. Evidence of cotton use has been found at the site of Mehrgarh, where early cotton threads have been preserved in copper beads. 4. Cotton cultivation became more widespread during the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India. 5. The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. 6. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. 7. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC. Sugarcane 1. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family (Poaceae), an economically important seed plant family, the main product of sugarcane is sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. 2. Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia. 3. Different species likely originated in different locations, with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum in New Guinea. 4. Approximately 70% of the sugar produced globally comes from S. officinarum and hybrids using this species. 5. It is theorized that sugarcane was first domesticated as a crop in New Guinea around 6000 BC. 6. New Guinean farmers and other early cultivators of sugarcane chewed the plant for its sweet juice. 7. The exact date of the first cane sugar production is unclear. The earliest evidence of sugar production comes from ancient Sanskrit and Pali texts.
  5. 5. Vivek Tripathi Potato 1. The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop, the word "potato" may refer either to the plant itself or the edible tuber. 2. The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC. 3. It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries. 4. The potato contains vitamins and minerals, as well as an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and natural phenols. Chlorogenic acid constitutes up to 90% of the potato tuber natural phenols. 5. Chine is top potato producers, about 88.4 million metric tons. Cole Plant 1. Brassica is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). 2. Crops from this genus are called cole crops, derived from the Latin caulis, meaning stem or cabbage. 3. The members of the genus are informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustard plant. 4. They are cool-season vegetables that prefer 60° to 70°F temperatures for optimal growth and can withstand light frosts without injury. 5. The triangle of U is a theory about the evolution and relationships between members of the plant genus Brassica. 6. The theory states that the genomes of three ancestral species of Brassica combined to create three of the common modern vegetables and oilseed crop species. 7. It has since been confirmed by studies of DNA and proteins. 8. The theory was first published in 1935 by Woo Jang-choon,a Korean-Japanese botanist who was working in Japan (where his name was transliterated as "Nagaharu U", his Japanese name). 9. Woo made synthetic hybrids between the diploid and tetraploid species and examined how the chromosomes paired in the resulting triploids. Rapeseeds 1. Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and, in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola), is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), consumed in China as a vegetable. 2. Brassica napus is cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world. 3. Botanical terminology since prehistoric statements till 19th century is by the Brassica species, with the small exceptions, very changeable (Metzger, 1833). Still Schubart (1825) terms turnip rape as B. napus and an oilseed rape as B. oleracea. The common name for all these similar species in the world statistics is RAPESEED at present.
  6. 6. Vivek Tripathi Mustard 1. Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant. 2. The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, salt, lemon juice, or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in color from bright yellow to dark brown. 3. The Romans were probably the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. 4. They mixed unfermented grape juice, known as "must", with ground mustard seeds to make "burning must", a recipe. 5. The early use of mustard as a condiment in England is attested from the year 1390 in the book The Forme of Cury which was written by King Richard II's master cooks. It was prepared in the form of mustard balls, coarse-ground mustard seed combined with flour and cinnamon, moistened, rolled into balls, and dried, which were easily stored and combined with vinegar or wine to make mustard paste as needed. Biodiversity 1. Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life. 2. This can refer to genetic variation, species variation, or ecosystem variation within an area, biome, or planet. 3. Biologists most often define biodiversity as the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region. 4. Biodiversity is defined and measured as an attribute that has two components — richness and evenness. 5. Richness- The number of groups of genetically or functionally related individuals. In most vegetation surveys, richness is expressed as the number of species and is usually called species richness. 6. Evenness- Proportions of species or functional groups present on a site. The more equal species are in proportion to each other the greater the evenness of the site. A site with low evenness indicates that a few species dominate the site. 7. Terrestrial biodiversity tends to be highest near the equator, which seems to be the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. 8. Marine biodiversity tends to be highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest and in mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. 9. Biodiversity generally tends to cluster in hotspots, and has been increasing through time but will be likely to slow in the future. Alpha Biodiversity- Richness and evenness of individuals within a habitat unit, alpha diversity means the diversity of the community within one site (or one sample), i.e., the number of species and their proportion within one sampling site. Beta Diversity- Expression of diversity between habitats, beta diversity means the dissimilarity between communities of two sites (or two samples). The higher beta diversity means the two communities are more dissimilar. Gamma Diversity- Landscape diversity or diversity of habitats within a landscape or region.
  7. 7. Vivek Tripathi There are three levels of biodiversity: 1. Genetic diversity is the total genetic information contained in the genes of all the species. It also refers to the variation in genetic information between species as well as the variations between individuals of the same species. 2. Species diversity is the variety of species on Earth. It refers to both the number of species and the number of individuals within each species. 3. Ecosystem diversity is the variety of habitats, natural communities and ecological processes in the biosphere.
  8. 8. Vivek Tripathi Rate of loss of Biodiversity 1. Almost all scientists acknowledge that the rate of species loss is greater now than at any time in human history, with extinctions occurring at rates hundreds of times higher than background extinction rates. 2. As of 2012, some studies suggest that 25% of all mammal species could be extinct in 20 years. 3. During the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasingly observed. 4. In 2007, German Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel cited estimates that up to 30% of all species will be extinct by 2050. 5. Of these, about one eighth of known plant species are threatened with extinction. Causes for the loss of Biodiversity 1. Habitat loss and degradation 2. Climate change 3. Excessive nutrient load 4. Pollution (air, soil and water) 5. Over-exploitation and unsustainable use 6. Industrial agriculture and forestry 7. Invasive alien species 8. Human overpopulation
  9. 9. Vivek Tripathi Extent of Biodiversity in Plant 1. About 7,000 species of plants have been cultivated for consumption in human history. 2. Presently, only about 30 crops provide 95% of human food energy needs, four of which (rice, wheat, maize and potato) are responsible for more than 60% of our energy intake. 3. Due to the dependency on this relatively small number of crops for global food security, it will be crucial to maintain a high genetic diversity within these crops to deal with increasing environmental stress and to provide farmers and researchers with opportunities to breed for crops that can be cultivated under unfavorable conditions, such as drought, salinity, flooding, poor soils and extreme temperatures. 4. Plant genetic resources are the basis of food security and consist of diversity of seeds and planting material of traditional varieties and modern cultivars, crop wild relatives and other wild plant species. Uses of Biodiversity 1. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, I. A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops II. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms III. Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters. 2. A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: a) Ecosystem services, such as i. Protection of water resources ii. Soils formation and protection iii. Nutrient storage and recycling iv. Pollution breakdown and absorption v. Contribution to climate stability vi. Maintenance of ecosystems vii. Recovery from unpredictable events b) Biological resources, such as I. Food II. Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs III. Wood products IV. Ornamental plants V. Breeding stocks, population reservoirs VI. Future resources VII. Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems c) Social benefits, such as I. Research, education and monitoring II. Recreation and tourism III. Cultural values 3. Sustainable use of biodiversity requires integrated conservation of both currently-useful species and broader phylogenetic diversity.
  10. 10. Vivek Tripathi Red Data Book 1. The Red Data Book is the state document established for documenting rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi as well as some local sub-species that exist within the territory of the state or country. 2. This book provides central information for studies and monitoring programs on rare and endangered species and their habits.  Red Data Book categories and their explanations- Endangered Plant species 1. An endangered species is a species of organisms that will likely become extinct. 2. Endangered species or populations that are at risk of becoming extinct. 3. There are numerous policies and organizations that help to protect endangered species. 4. Some of these include the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Endangered Species Act. 1. Least Concern - There is no immediate threat to the survival of the species. 2. Near Threatened - May become vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered in the near future. 3. Conservation Dependent - The species is not threatened, but depends on conservation efforts to sustain. 4. Vulnerable - The species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. 5. Endangered - The species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild. 6. Critically Endangered - The species faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. 7. Extinct in the Wild - The species only survives in captivity, there are no longer any individuals in the wild. 8. Extinct - All individuals of the species have died in the wild and in captivity.
  11. 11. Vivek Tripathi Examples of Endangered Plant species 1. Venus Fly Trap 2. Green Pitcher Plant 3. Fringed Orchid 4. Monkey Puzzle Tree 5. Rafflesia Flower 6. Georgia Aster 7. Baobob Tree 8. Texas Wild Rice 9. Enrubio 10. Arizona Agave 11. Siroi Lily 12. Dragon Tree 13. Rebe 14. Magenta Ghost Flower 15. Yakla Snow Lotus 16. Titan Arum. Genetic Resources 1. Genetic resources (GRs) refer to genetic material of actual or potential value. 2. Genetic material is any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity. 3. Examples include material of plant, animal, or microbial origin, such as medicinal plants, agricultural crops and animal breeds. 4. Genetic resources as encountered in nature are not creations of the human mind and thus they cannot be directly protected as intellectual property (IP). However, there are intellectual property issues associated with Genetic resources. 5. Inventions or plant varieties based on or developed using GRs (associated with traditional knowledge or not) may be patentable or protected by plant breeders’ rights. Plant Genetic Resource 1. Plant genetic resources are the most valuable and essential basic raw materials to meet the current and future needs of crop improvement programs. 2. It has become increasingly clear during the last few decades that meeting the food needs of the world's growing population depends, to a large extent, on the conservation and use of the world's remaining plant genetic resources. 3. The conservation and use of plant genetic resources is as old as agriculture itself. For over 12,000 years farmers have conserved seed for future planting, domesticated wild plants, and selected and bred varieties to suit their specific needs and conditions. 4. Over the millennia, hundreds of different plant species have been domesticated and within each species, human and natural selection have combined to produce thousands of different varieties.
  12. 12. Vivek Tripathi 5. Yet much of this plant genetic diversity has now been lost. Of the several thousand plant species used in the past for food, only about 150 are cultivated today and just three- rice, wheat and maize, supply nearly 60 percent of the calories and protein derived from plants. 6. The most significant loss of diversity has taken place in recent decades. The country report prepared by China in preparation for the recent International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources found, for example, that of the approximately 10,000 wheat cultivars grown in that country in 1949, only about 1000 were still being grown in the 1970s (FAO, 1995). Plant genetic resources (PGR) defined in the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (FAO, 1983) to mean the reproductive or vegetative propagating material of the following categories of plants- I. Cultivated varieties (cultivars) in current use and newly developed varieties II. Obsolete cultivars III. Primitive cultivars (landraces) IV. Wild and weed species, near relatives of cultivated varieties V. Special genetic stocks (including elite and current breeder's lines and mutants) The characterization of plant genetic resources for purposes of identification and evaluation of plant varieties, includes: 1. Morpho-agronomic characterization, using specific descriptors i. The morpho-agronomic characterization consists in the analysis of germplasm, using specific descriptors developed by IPGRI (Bioversity International), the UPOV or other international consortia, and subsequent morphometric analysis. ii. The data obtained is used in the phenotyping of the characterized germplasm, in assessing diversity and variability of biological resources, leading to the identification of regional and/or conservation plant varieties. iii. The morpho-agronomic specific information is used in the elaboration of passports and reports. 2. Biochemical and molecular characterization using different markers I. The biochemical characterization (molecular) performed in the analysis of germplasm, uses processes as: protein fractions (storage proteins) or other biochemical markers (antioxidants). II. Molecular characterization consists in the analysis of germplasm, using different molecular markers (microsatellites, ITSs or SNPs). III. The obtained data is used in the typing of regional varieties and control of the integrity of the collection of germplasm accessions. Specific molecular information is gathered in passports and reports. IV. These descriptors are proposed by IPGRI (Bioversity International) to assess the diversity of germplasm, the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) for quality control of seeds and propagating material, and by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) for identification of marketed plant material or plant varieties.
  13. 13. Vivek Tripathi Taxonomical Classification of Plant Genetic Resource 1. Taxonomy of plant genetic resources is an important input in characterizing and evaluating cultivated plants and it is essential for identification and documentation of the diversity of gene bank collections. 2. In former times taxonomical determination was based only on morphological characters. Nowadays, new molecular and chemical methods and techniques are available for providing additional information. 3. Taxonomy of cultivated plants is an important tool to describe the variability of plant genetic resources. 4. Taxonomy of cultivated plants genetic resource- I. Should describe their often enormous variability by various methods and technics in order to enable researchers of genetic resources to communicate on the representatives of this variability II. Should relate this variability to ecological and geographical parameters III. Should analyze and explain the relationships between cultivated and closely related wild taxa in a (phylo) genetic context and IV. Should contribute to the understanding of the complex interactions between evolution and domestication of cultivated plants and development and history of man. Core Collection 1. A core collection is a subsample of a larger germplasm collection that contains, with a minimum of repetitiveness, the maximum possible genetic diversity of the species in question (Frankel 1984; Frankel and Brown 1984). 2. Core collections have become accepted as efficient tools for improving conservation and use of collections. 3. Core collections are established from existing collections that deter use because they are too large. 4. They do not replace existing collections or material from which they are obtained. 5. Core collections have become accepted as efficient tools for improving conservation and use of collections. 6. The Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recommends core collection development as one of the activities needed to improve use of plant genetic resources. 7. The procedures that can be used to establish, manage and use a core collection are as followed-
  14. 14. Vivek Tripathi Plant Quarantine Aspects 1. Plant quarantine is a technique for insuring diseases and pest-free plants by isolating them during a period while performing tests for the presence of problems. 2. In the United States, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) retains this function although the agency’s closely allied border inspection function was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by P.L. 107-296. Sanitary and Phytosanitary System (SPS) 1. In World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, protection of human safety or health, protection of animal and plant life or health and also protection of the environment is of prime importance, all these are broadly covered in Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements. 2. The agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is an integral part of final Act GATT 1994 (b) and of Agreement on Agriculture. 3. SPS measures are defined as any measure applied in the following ways- I. To protect animal or plant life or health within the territory of the member from risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread or pests, disease and disease carrying organisms II. To protect human or animal life or health within the territory of the member from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease causing organisms on foods, beverages or feed stuffs III. To protect human life or health within the territory of the member from risks arising from the disease carried by animals, plants or products thereof, or from the entry, establishment or spread of pests IV. To prevent or limit other damages within the territory of the member from the entry, establishment or spread of the pests Introduction and exchange of PGR 1. In India, systematic activities of introduction and exchange of plant genetic resources of agri-horticultural crops started as early as 1946 at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, under a scheme initiated in the Division of Botany at the instance of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Pal and Singh, 1949). 2. In 1956, this scheme was replaced by the Plant Introduction and Exploration Organization located in the same Division. 3. In 1961, it was separated out into a new Division of Plant Introduction. Later, in 1976, this Division was raised into an independent institute under the ICAR, namely, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR). 4. The activities of introduction and exchange of plant genetic resources of agri-horticultural and agri-silvicultural plants have been/are being carried out by the Division of Germplasm Exchange of the Bureau, and these are as follows: I. To ensure import/export of plant genetic resources of agri-horticultural and agri- silvicultural plants strictly under Phytosanitary conditions. II. To arrange national (inland) supplies of already available plant genetic resources and related information on germplasm resources to agri-horticultural and agri-silvicultural scientists as well as to growers/farmers.
  15. 15. Vivek Tripathi III. To procure and assemble literature on availability of plant genetic resources at various centers around the world and to prepare bibliographies on plant genetic resources after survey of scientific journals, Index seminums, catalogues, newsletters etc. followed by action for the procurement of the material. IV. To prepare 'Crop Inventories' on plant genetic resources. V. To arrange documentation and dissemination of information on germplasm imported in the form of 'Plant Introduction Reporter' Germplasm 1. A germplasm is a collection of genetic resources for an organism. For plants, the germplasm may be stored as a seed collection or, for trees, in a nursery. 2. Germplasm refers to the hereditary material transmitted to the offspring through the germ cells. 3. It is the total content of genes. It serves as the raw material for the breeder to develop different crops. 4. The main objective of germplasm collection is preservation of genetic diversity if a particular plant or genetic stock for its use in the future. Exploration and Germplasm Collection 1. Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information or resources. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans. 2. Plant exploration is a fascinating field of study that has attracted a great many adventurists, naturalists, travelers and plant hunters since distant past. 3. Germplasm collection is a collection of genotypes of a particular species, from different sources and geographic sites, used as source materials in plant breeding. 4. Benefits of germplasm collection: I. Cell and tissue cultures of many plant species can be cryopreserved and maintained in a viable state for several years and used when required. II. Plant materials from endangered species can be conserved using this method. III. It is an ideal method for long term conservation of cell cultures producing secondary metabolites such as antibiotics. IV. Recalcitrant seeds (seeds which loose their viability on storage) can be maintained for a long period of time V. Disease free plant materials can be frozen and propagated whenever required. VI. Conservation of somaclonal variations in cultures VII. Rare germplasms developed by using somatic hybridization and other genetic manipulation techniques can be stored VIII. Pollen conservation for enhancing longevity IX. Germplasm banks to facilitate the exchange of information at international level.
  16. 16. Vivek Tripathi Principal of Germplasm Characterization. Evaluation, Maintenance and Regeneration Characterization 1. Characterization generally concerns qualitative, mono-oligogenic and strongly heritable characters, which are independent of the environment. 2. Characterization allows the morphological and biophysical identification (i.e. in peach, flower type, flesh color, leaf glands, flesh-stone adhesion are discriminant characters between phenotypes). Evaluation 1. Evaluation is related to quantitative, oligo-polygenic traits that are susceptible to environment differences but are generally useful in crop improvement. 2. It includes yield, agronomic performance, stress susceptibility, disease and pest resistance and biochemical and cytological traits. Molecular biology techniques, on their own and in combination with other biotechnological approaches, have a significant impact on genetic resources characterization and evaluation, since they are independent on the growth stage of plants and their growing and environmental condition, and can offer an insight of the distribution and extent of genetic variation within and between species. As a rule, the characterization and evaluation data are recorded according to descriptors that play a key role in the assessment of plant genetic resources (PGR). Maintenance 1. Genetic diversity may be lost through inadequate maintenance of germplasm. 2. The citrus and date repository provides protection from extremes in environmental conditions and natural insect and disease pests by maintaining germplasm collections in insect-excluding greenhouses and screen houses. 3. Within this protected environment, the plants can be kept free of viruses and other pathogens and separate and distinct from the working field variety collection. 4. Alternatives to long-term storage of large plants is an integral part of the Repository's goal. 5. Cooperative research with the National Seed Storage Laboratory in the areas of low temperature and cryogenic storage of seeds, clonal buds, and scions are being pursued currently or planned for the future. Regeneration 1. Regeneration is renewal of germplasm accessions by sowing and harvesting seeds, which will possess the same characteristics as the original population. 2. Germplasm regeneration is the most critical operation in genebank management, because it involves risks to genetic integrity of germplasm accessions due to selection pressures, outcrossing and mechanical mixtures, among other factors. 3. Seed regeneration should be undertaken only in the postrainy season. 4. Due to the low ambient relative humidity and absence of rains in the postrainy season, incidences of diseases and pests are low, and consequently the quality of the seed produced is high.
  17. 17. Vivek Tripathi 5. The short days during postrainy season also induce flowering in photosensitive germplasm accessions, enabling their seed production. 6. Germplasm is regenerated for the following purposes: I. Initial seed increase II. Long-term conservation III. Replenish seed stocks in active and base collections IV. Meet special requirement 7. Procedures for regeneration: i. If possible, regenerate germplasm in ecological region of its origin. Alternatively, seek a location that does not selectively eliminate some genotypes in preference to others in a population. ii. If no suitable site is found, seek collaboration with an institute that can provide a suitable site or regenerate in a controlled environment. iii. Examine the biotic environment in the context of prior information about the plants and past experience. An inappropriate biotic environment due to its differential effect can be detrimental to plants, seed quality and genetic integrity of an accession. Techniques for Conservation of Plant Germplasm 1. Conservation is the act of preserving, guarding, or protecting; wise use. 2. Conservation is an ethic of resource use, allocation, and protection. 3. Its primary focus is upon maintaining the health of the natural world, its fisheries, habitats, and biological diversity. In-situ Conservation 1. In-situ conservation is on-site conservation or the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species, such as forest genetic resources in natural populations of tree species. 2. It is the process of protecting an endangered plant or animal species in its natural habitat, either by protecting or cleaning up the habitat itself, or by defending the species from predators. 3. It is applied to conservation of agricultural biodiversity in agroecosystems by farmers, especially those using unconventional farming practices. 4. One benefit of in-situ conservation is that it maintains recovering populations in the surrounding where they have developed their distinctive properties. 5. Another is that this strategy helps ensure the ongoing processes of evolution and adaptation within their environments. Ex-situ Conservation 1. Ex-situ conservation means literally, "off-site conservation". 2. It is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal outside its natural habitat; for example, by removing part of the population from a threatened habitat and placing it in a new location, which may be a wild area or within the care of humans. 3. While ex-situ conservation comprises some of the oldest and best known conservation methods, it also involves newer, sometimes controversial laboratory methods.
  18. 18. Vivek Tripathi 4. Ex-situ conservation may be used on some or all of the population, when in-situ conservation is too difficult, or impossible. Cryopreservation 1. Cryopreservation or cryoconservation is a process where cells, whole tissues, or any other substances susceptible to damage caused by chemical reactivity or time are preserved by cooling to sub-zero temperatures, storage of plant materials at ultra-low temperature in liquid nitrogen (-196o C) 2. At -196o C, cell division and metabolic activities remain suspended and the material can be stored without changes for a long periods of time. 3. Cryopreservation is the only method for long term conservation of vegetatively propagated plant germplasm. 4. Plant genetic material in a 'gene bank' is preserved at -196° Celsius in Liquid Nitrogen as mature seed (dry). Advantage 1. Need limited space 2. Protects materials from contamination 3. Involves very little maintenance 4. It is cost effective Vitrification Vitrification involves the removal of most or all freezable water by physical or osmotic dehydration of explant, followed by ultra-rapid freezing which results in Vitrification of intracellular solutes. Gene Banks 1. A gene bank is a collection of seeds and other plant reproductive material, primarily of cultivated plants and their wild relatives. These collections represent as far as possible the gene pools of our crop plants, that is, the genetic basis of agriculture and horticulture. 2. Plant genetic material in a 'gene bank' is preserved at -196° Celsius in Liquid Nitrogen as mature seed (dry). 3. Types of gene banks: i. Seed bank ii. Tissue bank iii. Cryobank a) In this technique, a seed or embryo is preserved at very low temperatures. b) It is usually preserved in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. c) This is helpful for the conservation of species facing extinction. iv. Pollen bank v. Field gene bank
  19. 19. Vivek Tripathi Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) 1. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. 2. CGIAR is an international organization which funds and co-ordinates research into agricultural crop breeding with the goal of "reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources". 3. It is carried out by 15 Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. 4. The CGIAR's vision is supported by four strategic objectives: I. Reducing rural poverty II. Improving food security III. Improving nutrition and health IV. Sustainably managing natural resources International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) 1. IPGRI is an international research institute with a mandate to advance the conservation and use of genetic diversity for the well-being of present and future generations. 2. It is a Centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). 3. As of December 2006, IPGRI operates under the name Bioversity International, or Bioversity. 4. Bioversity International is one of 15 agricultural research centers supported by CGIAR. 5. Working with partners worldwide, it is dedicated to the conservation and use of forest and agricultural biodiversity for improved livelihoods, nutrition, sustainability and productive and resilient ecosystems. 6. The organization is highly decentralized, with about 320 staff working from 16 offices worldwide. 7. Headquarters is in Maccarese, outside Rome, Italy, with regional offices located in Americas, Asia, Pacific & Oceania, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR)  The NBPGR played a pivotal role in the improvement of various crop plants and diversification and development of agriculture in India through germplasm introduction from various institutes/organizations located in foreign countries and germplasm collection from within the country and abroad and conservation thereof. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations 1. FAO plays a lead role in strengthening the conservation of PGRFA through policy assistance, technical support and awareness raising. 2. In collaboration with international, regional and national partners, FAO involved in multiple projects to strengthen capacities in order to address technical and policy aspects and prepare gene bank standards and technical guidelines for crop specific conservation techniques and other publications.
  20. 20. Vivek Tripathi Future Harvest Center I. In 2000 the Centers of Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) created Future Harvest, an organization dedicated to building support for international agricultural research, and subsequently decided to call themselves the Future Harvest Centers. II. The Centers, as of 2003, are: 1. International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) 2. Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) 3. International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) 4. International Potato Centre (CIP) 5. International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) 6. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) 7. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 8. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) 9. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) 10. International Plant Genetics Resources Institute (IPGRI) 11. International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) 12. International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) 13. International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 14. West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) 15. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 16. World Fish Center Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. 2. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a comprehensive, binding agreement covering the use and conservation of biodiversity. 3. The Convention has three main goals: I. Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); II. Sustainable use of its components; and III. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources 4. In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 5. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. 6. Some of the many issues dealt with under the convention include: I. Measures and incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. II. Regulated access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, including Prior Informed Consent of the party providing resources. III. Sharing, in a fair and equitable way, the results of research and development and the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources with the Contracting Party providing such resources (governments and/or local communities that provided the traditional knowledge or biodiversity resources utilized).
  21. 21. Vivek Tripathi IV. Access to and transfer of technology, including biotechnology, to the governments and/or local communities that provided traditional knowledge and/or biodiversity resources. V. Technical and scientific cooperation. VI. Coordination of a global directory of taxonomic expertise (Global Taxonomy Initiative). VII. Impact assessment. VIII. Education and public awareness. IX. Provision of financial resources. X. National reporting on efforts to implement treaty commitments. Cartagena Protocol The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. The Biosafety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits. It will for example let countries ban imports of a genetically modified organisms if they feel there is not enough scientific evidence that the product is safe and requires exporters to label shipments containing genetically altered commodities such as corn or cotton. The protocol defines a 'living modified organism' as any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology, and 'living organism' means any biological entity capable of transferring or replicating genetic material, including sterile organisms, viruses and viroids.
  22. 22. Vivek Tripathi The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or UPOV 1. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or UPOV is an intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 2. The current Secretary-General of UPOV is Francis Gurry. 3. UPOV was established by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. 4. The objective of the Convention is the protection of new varieties of plants by an intellectual property right. By codifying intellectual property for plant breeders, UPOV aims to encourage the development of new varieties of plants for the benefit of society. For plant breeders' rights to be granted, the new variety must meet four criteria under the rules established by UPOV- 1. The new plant must be novel, which means that it must not have been previously marketed in the country where rights are applied for. 2. The new plant must be distinct from other available varieties. 3. The plants must display homogeneity. The trait or traits unique to the new variety must be stable so that the plant remains true to type after repeated cycles of propagation. Plant Breeders Rights 1. Plant breeders' rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), are rights granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that give the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit, foliage) of a new variety for a number of years. 2. With these rights, the breeder can choose to become the exclusive marketer of the variety, or to license the variety to others. 3. Plant variety rights are granted by national offices, after examination. 4. In order to qualify for these exclusive rights, a variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable. I. A variety is new if it has not been commercialized for more than one year in the country of protection. II. A variety is distinct if it differs from all other known varieties by one or more important botanical characteristics, such as height, maturity, color, etc. III. A variety is uniform if the plant characteristics are consistent from plant to plant within the variety. IV. A variety is stable if the plant characteristics are genetically fixed and therefore remain the same from generation to generation, or after a cycle of reproduction in the case of hybrid varieties. V. The breeder must also give the variety an acceptable "denomination", which becomes its generic name and must be used by anyone who markets the variety.
  23. 23. Vivek Tripathi Farmers' Rights 1. Farmers' Rights consist of the customary rights of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm- saved seed and propagating material, their rights to be recognized, rewarded and supported for their contribution to the global pool of genetic resources as well as to the development of commercial varieties of plants, and to participate in decision making on issues related to crop genetic resources. 2. Farmers' Rights are a precondition for the maintenance of crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agriculture production in the world. Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right Act, 2001 (PPVFR Act) 1. The Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right Act, 2001 (PPVFR Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders, and to encourage the development and cultivation of new varieties of plants. 2. This act received the assent of the President of India on the October 30, 2001. 3. According to sec 2(c), “breeder” means a person or group of persons or a farmer or group of farmers or any institution which has "bred, evolved or developed any variety." 4. According to sec 2(k), “farmers” means any person who – i. "Cultivates crops by cultivating the land himself; or" ii. "Cultivates crops by directly supervising the cultivation or land through any other person; or conserves and preserves, severally or jointly, with any other person any wild species or traditional varieties"; or iii. "Adds value to such wild species or traditional varieties through selection and identification of their useful properties." Intellectual Properties Rights 1. Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds or Intellectual property (IP) rights are the legally recognized exclusive rights to creations of the mind. 2. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. 3. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. 4. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.
  24. 24. Vivek Tripathi Copyright 1. Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator of intellectual wealth (e.g. the photographer of a photograph or the author of a book) to receive compensation for their work and be able to financially support themselves. 2. A copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. 3. Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or "works". 4. Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. Patents 1. A patent grants an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. 2. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem, which may be a product or a process. 3. The procedure for granting patents, requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Trademarks 1. A trademark is a recognizable sign, design or expression which distinguishes products or services of a particular trader from the similar products or services of other traders. 2. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. 3. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher or on the product itself. 4. For the sake of corporate identity trademarks are also being displayed on company buildings. 5. Trademarks are used to claim exclusive properties of products or services. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was a multilateral agreement regulating international trade. 2. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis. 3. It was negotiated during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). 4. GATT was signed in 1947, took effect in 1948, and lasted until 1994; it was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995. 5. The original GATT text (GATT 1947) is still in effect under the WTO framework, subject to the modifications of GATT 1994. 6. GATT held a total of nine rounds:
  25. 25. Vivek Tripathi Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 1. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members. 2. It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994. 3. The TRIPS agreement introduced intellectual property law into the international trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive international agreement on intellectual property to date. 4. TRIPS requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering content producers including performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential information. Terminator and Traitor techniques (v-GURT and t-GURT) 1. Genetic use restriction technology (GURT), colloquially known as terminator technology or suicide seeds, is the name given to proposed methods for restricting the use of genetically modified plants by causing second generation seeds to be sterile. 2. The technology was developed under a cooperative research and development agreement between the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and Delta and Pine Land Company in the 1990s, but it is not yet commercially available. 3. The technology was discussed during the 8th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Curitiba, Brazil, March 20–31, 2006. 4. There are conceptually two types of GURT: A. Variety-level Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (V-GURTs) I. This type of GURT produces sterile seeds, so the seed from this crop could not be used as seeds, but only for sale as food or fodder. II. This would not have an immediate impact on the large number of primarily western farmers who use hybrid seeds, as they do not produce their own planting seeds, and instead buy specialized hybrid seeds from seed production companies. III. However, currently around 80 percent of farmers in both Brazil and Pakistan grow crops based on saved seeds from previous harvests. IV. Consequentially, resistance to the introduction of GURT technology into developing countries is strong. V. The technology is restricted at the plant variety level, hence the term V-GURT. VI. Manufacturers of genetically enhanced crops would use this technology to protect their products from unauthorized use.
  26. 26. Vivek Tripathi B. Trait-level Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (T-GURTs) I. A second type of GURT modifies a crop in such a way that the genetic enhancement engineered into the crop does not function until the crop plant is treated with a chemical that is sold by the biotechnology company. II. Farmers can save seeds for use each year, however, they do not get to use the enhanced trait in the crop unless they purchase the activator compound. The technology is restricted at the trait level, hence the term T-GURT. Biological Diversity Act or Bill 2002 1. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. 2. The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party. 3. Biodiversity has been defined under Section 2(b) of the Act as "the variability among living organisms from all sources and the ecological complexes of which they are part, and includes diversity within species or between species and of eco-systems". 4. The Act also defines, Biological resources as "plants, animals and micro-organisms or parts thereof, their genetic material and by-products (excluding value added products) with actual or potential use or value, but does not include human genetic material." Geographic Indicator Bill 1. A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). 2. The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin. 3. In many countries the protection afforded to geographical indications by law is similar to the protection afforded to trademarks, and in particular, certification marks. 4. Geographical indications law restricts the use of the GIs for the purpose of identifying a particular type of product, unless the product and/or its constituent materials and/or its fabrication method originate from a particular area and/or meet certain standards.