Challenges and Prospects for the Conservation of Crop Genetic Resources in Field Genebanks, in In Vitro Collections and/or in Liquid Nitrogen uri icon

abstract

  • The conservation of crop genetic resources, including their wild relatives, is of utmost importance for the future of mankind. Most crops produce orthodox seeds and can, therefore, be stored in seed genebanks. However, this is not an option for crops and species that produce recalcitrant (non-storable) seeds such as cacao, coffee and avocado, for crops that do not produce seeds at all; therefore, they are inevitably vegetatively propagated such as bananas, or crops that are predominantly clonally propagated as their seeds are not true to type, such as potato, cassava and many fruit trees. Field, in vitro and cryopreserved collections provide an alternative in such cases. In this paper, an overview is given on how to manage and setup a field, in vitro and cryopreserved collections, as well as advantages and associated problems taking into account the practical, financial and safety issues in the long-term. In addition, the need for identification of unique accessions and elimination of duplicates is discussed. The different conservation methods are illustrated with practical examples and experiences from national and international genebanks. Finally, the importance of establishing safe and long-term conservation methods and associated backup possibilities is highlighted in the frame of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020