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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Acquisition, Evaluation and Conversation of Temperate Forage Legume Genetic Resources

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing

Title: Crop wild relatives of Medicago in Russia and neighboring countries: gap analysis for effective conservation

Authors
item Greene, Stephanie
item Afonin, Alexandr -
item Dzyubenko, Elena -
item Dzyubenko, Nicolai -

Submitted to: Symposium for the establishment of European genetic reserves for CWR and landraces
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2010
Publication Date: September 13, 2010
Citation: Greene, S.L., Afonin, A., Dzyubenko, E., Dzyubenko, N. 2010. Crop wild relatives of Medicago in Russia and neighboring countries: gap analysis for effective conservation. Symposium for the establishment of European genetic reserves for CWR and landraces. p.29.

Interpretive Summary: The genus Medicago includes important species used for forage, fodder and land improvement. The countries of the Former Soviet Union have a wide diversity of Medicago species, including alfalfa crop wild relatives and annual medic species. Although the Former Soviet Union had a well developed system of nature reserves, the conservation of crop wild relatives has been overlooked. The purpose of this research was to assess the extent that native Medicago species are conserved in the area which once comprised the Soviet Union. Based on our analysis we identified species that require immediate protection, and also a set of existing Nature Reserves that could maximize the number of species protected, while minimizing the establishment of brand new reserves. The results of this work will help support the implementation of new conservation strategies that protect Medicago genetic resources.

Technical Abstract: The genus Medicago includes important species used for forage, fodder and land improvement. The countries of the Former Soviet Union have a wide diversity of alfalfa crop wild relatives and annual medic species. The N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) has a long history of collecting and using Medicago genetic resources from Eastern Europe and central Asia. In the 1970’s and 80’s work was done to identify potential in situ genetic reserves. Although the Former Soviet Union had a well developed system of nature reserves, the conservation of crop wild relatives had been overlooked. The purpose of this paper is to carry out a gap analysis to assess the extent that native Medicago species are conserved in situ and ex situ, in the area which once comprised the Soviet Union. Data from ex situ collections from Russia, USA, Australia, Syria, along with occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility were used to assess current ex situ conservation status and to refine species distribution using geospatial modelling. The AgroAtlas was used as a data source for both species distribution maps and ecogeographic data. Prevalence of species in established nature reserves was examined. Based on the gap analysis areas were identified that would maximize the number of species protected, while minimizing the establishment of brand new reserves. The results of this work have helped support the implementation of new conservation strategies that protect Medicago genetic resources.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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