For this presentation, I’m focusing on the ex situ conservation of crop wild relatives.
How well conserved or represented are the crop wild relatives in genebanks?
The second report on the state of the world’s plant genetic resources, frequently indicates that despite the growth of the number of accessions introduced in genebanks, crop wild relatives are still underrepresented.
It also mentions that about half of the known (or visible) germplasm accessions have information on their biological status, from this, approximately 17% correspond to wild and weedy species, which gives an approx. of 9% of the accessions to correspond to CWR.
This gives us a sense of the urgency to improve the conservation in genebanks of crop wild relatives. However, given the restriction of funds for conservation (specially non-charismatic species as plants), any conservation effort needs to prioritize the species and populations to be conserved. Here, two key questions arise: which crop genepools and species should be prioritized for further conservation.
In line with the previous slide, a comparison of the wild accessions against the rest of accessions visible through GeneSys for 19 crops, show that about 7% of the accessions visible through the platform are wild relatives.
The proportion of wild accessions varies within crops, with cases like grasspea where 33% of the accessions reported correspond to wild accessions, whilst in apple less than 1% of the accessions are wild relatives.
This gives us a glimpse of what needs to be conserved. However, more information on the extent of representativeness of CWR is desirable to prioritize the ex situ conservation of CWR.
Therefore, with the aim of understanding the extent of representativeness of CWR in genebanks, we adapted the ex situ Gap Analysis methodology and applied it to 81 crop genepools.
The Gap Analysis approach compares the living elements of naturexisting richness, diversity and uniqueness of a living element of nature (in this case, crop wild relatives), and compares
Areas with high concentration of crop wild relatives needing urgent actions for ex-situ conservation
The most critical collecting gaps occur in the Mediterranean, Near East, and southern Europe; Southeast and East Asia; and tropical South America.
The results of the gap analysis show the species needing urgent actions to increase their representativeness in genebanks, and areas where these species are most likely to be found and thus collected.
3 crop gene pools with no HPS-CWR: chickpea, grasspea and lentil
Diving into more details:
Here we divide the 81 crop genepools assessed, into nine crop groups.
The group of fruits holds the largest amount of CWR taxa targeted as high priorities for conservation, followed by starchy roots, vegetables, cereals, oilcrops, pulses, sugarcrops, forages and spices (in descending order).
Barley: Turkey, Near East, Central Asia Broom millet: South America (Panicum miliaceum) Finger millet (Eleusine): South America, Africa (esp Ethiopia) Foxtail millet (Setaria italica): Europe, Near East, South China Maize: Mexico Oat: Europe Pearl millet (Pennisetum): Africa, Western Asia Quinoa: America (North and South) Rice: South America, Western Africa, South East Asia, Oceania Rye: Turkey, Western Asia Sorghum: Southern Africa, Northern Australia Wheat: Jordan
Adzuki bean: India, SouthEast Asia Bambara groundnut: Africa Bean: Central America + Mexico Chickpea: Near East Cowpea (Vigna ungui): Africa Faba bean: NO GEOGRAPHIC DATA Grasspea: North Africa, Near East, Turkey Lentil: Turkey + Greece Lima bean: Mexico Mung bean: India, SoutEast Asia (Vigna radiate) Pea: Turkey, Near East Pigeonpea: India, North Australia Black gram/Urd bean: India, Indonesia Vetch (Vicia sativa): Europe
Prioritizing Crop Wild Relatives Collecting
priorities for crop wild relatives
Nora P. Castañeda-Álvarez, Colin K. Khoury, Harold A. Achicanoy, Vivian Bernau,
Hannes Dempewolf, Ruth J. Eastwood, Luigi Guarino, Ruth H. Harker, Andy Jarvis, Nigel
Maxted, Jonas V. Müller, Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Chrystian C. Sosa, Paul C. Struik, Holly
Vincent, & Jane Toll
How much is enough? Our process
Density of seed
Areas where gaps exist
in ex situ collections for
Density of records
Ramírez-Villegas, J., Khoury, C., Jarvis, A., Debouck, D.G., Guarino, L., 2010. A gap analysis
methodology for collecting crop genepools: A case study with Phaseolus beans. PLoS ONE 5, e13497.
How much is enough? Our process
Definition of crops and crop wild relative taxa to analyze:
• 81 crop genepools globally important for food security.
• 1079 crop wild relative taxa (GP1 and GP2 + less closely related taxa with
proven and potential uses in breeding)
Vincent, H. et al. Biological conservation. 167, 265-275 (2013)
Gathering and curating occurrence data from 420 data sources
• Data quality check
Modelling the distribution of CWR
• MaxEnt: modelling algorithm
• 19 climatic variables
• 5 x 5km resolution
• Native range of each taxa
Measuring 3 gap analysis metrics
• Sampling Representativeness Score
• Geographic Representativeness Score
• Ecological Representativeness Score
Identifying collecting and conservation priorities
Picture credit: https://scienceasaverb.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/introduction-to-ecological-
Our results: Collecting hotspots
Global collecting hotspots for High Priority Taxa, for 76 crop gene pools
Priorities for conservation