Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2011
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Citation: Volk, G.M., Richards, C.M. 2011. Horticultural value of wild genetic resources: introduction to the workshop. HortScience. 46(11): 1436-1437. Interpretive Summary: The USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System maintains many accessions of plants that are of wild origin. These plants do not exhibit many of the desirable traits that have been selected for during the breeding and domestication process. However, these wild materials often have novel forms of genes, such as disease resistance, that can be incorporated into cultivars using traditional breeding techniques or genomic technologies. A workshop titled “Horticultural Value of Wild Genetic Resources” was sponsored by the Genetics and Germplasm Working Group at the 2011 American Society for Horticultural Science meetings. This manuscript serves as an introduction to the series of papers authored by the workshop presenters.
Technical Abstract: Wild plant genetic resources are increasingly becoming valuable for breeding, genomics, and ornamental horticulture programs. Wild relatives of horticultural species may offer desirable traits that are not available in cultivated varieties, but “wilds” often also have traits that are highly undesirable. Advances in comparative genomics and marker-assisted breeding facilitate the inclusion of the valued traits from wild materials in plant breeding programs. As technologies advance, wild plant genetic resources will become even more valuable for future research developments.