Navigation Links
Time is ticking for some crop's wild relatives
Date:5/30/2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - A botanist brings a species of alfalfa from Siberia, to the United States. His hope? The plant survives, and leads to a new winter-hardy alfalfa. But what also happened during this time in the late 1800's, isn't just a story of legend and lore. The truth of the matter is creating a current revival in both interest and conservation of what's now called a crop's "wild relative."

And several researchers members of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) say it couldn't come at a better time. The lack of attention has put crop wild relatives in a precarious position, says ASA and CSSA member Stephanie Greene. Green is a plant geneticist with the USDA-ARS in Prosser, WA and the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System, the country's primary steward of seed and other crop genetic material. Twenty percent of all wild plants are now threatened with extinction, according to recent estimates, and that's before the potential impacts of climate change are factored in. Yet, "as the world moves forward with all these initiatives to conserve biodiversity," Greene says, "it's recognized that crop wild relatives have been left behind."

Green is leading new efforts to tally crop wild relatives living in the United States, identifying which are most important to global and American agriculture, and developing a nationwide strategy for protecting the plants both in gene banks and in the wild. But conserving crop wild relatives is only the first step. The real goal is to get the diverse stock of genetic material, or germplasm, into the hands of plant breeders, especially those seeking to adapt crops to the increased drought, greater disease pressure, and erratic weather climate change is expected to bring.

But few are studying crop wild relatives more intensely or championing for protection more vigorously than Nigel Maxted, a scientist at the University of Birmingham in England. Maxted is pressing for conservation in many ways, most significantly by developing a step-by-step, standardized protocol countries can use to identify and protect the crop wild relatives within their borders. The first countries he worked with to execute a plan were Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Most recently, he helped Portugal, Switzerland, the U.K., and several other European nations complete conservation strategies, and he's now collaborating with several more. Two of his graduate students currently work in China and North Africa. And a former student is now assisting Greene with the U.S. strategy. Greene says, while threatened by climate change just like all wild species, these wild relatives are the same plants that could help us adapt our food systems to the new conditions. "That's why it surprises me. Why aren't these plants the poster children [for plant conservation]?" she says. "We know they have value."


'/>"/>

Contact: Teri Barr
tbarr@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-3976
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sticking power: new adhesive earns patent, could find place in space
2. Ticking of cellular clock promotes seismic changes in the chromatin landscape associated with aging
3. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
4. Slug ecology and management in no-till field crops
5. Team aims to make sugarcane, sorghum into oil-producing crops
6. Improving crops from the roots up
7. A major step forward towards drought tolerance in crops
8. Scientists forecast crops that adapt to changing weather
9. Salt-tolerant crops show higher capacity for carbon fixation
10. Feasibility of using mycoherbicides to control illicit drug crops is uncertain
11. Genome-scale network of rice genes to speed the development of biofuel crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and Touchless), ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 billion ... Continue Reading ... ...      (Logo: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the ... as director of public safety business development. ... diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on the ... In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- The Global Microfluidic Chips Market by Manufacturers, Countries, ... comprehensive study on the existing state of the global Microfluidic Chips ... Europe and Asia-Pacific , ... Africa . ... Browse 172 Tables and Figures, 13 Major Company Profiles, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Franz Inc ., the leading supplier of Semantic Graph ... a ‘Champion’ by Bloor Research in its recent Graph Database Market Update ... thanks to Gruff, it was rated as the easiest product to use.” – Bloor ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... LONDON , March 28, 2017 ... to better understand Enzo Biochem and its partnering interests and ... since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase ... and company data. The report will be delivered ...
(Date:3/28/2017)...  Viking Therapeutics, Inc. ("Viking") (NASDAQ: VKTX), a clinical-stage ... for metabolic and endocrine disorders, today announced that its ... deliver a corporate presentation at H.C. Wainwright & Co.,s ... April 3, 2017 at the St. Regis Hotel in ... are as follows: H.C. Wainwright ...
Breaking Biology Technology: