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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POTATO GENETICS, CYTOGENETICS, DISEASE RESISTANCE, AND PRE-BREEDING UTILIZING WILD AND CULTIVATED SPECIES Title: A case for crop wild relative preservation and utilization in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)

Authors
item Jansky, Shelley
item Dempewolf, Hannes -
item Camadro, Elsa -
item Simon, R -
item Zimnoch-Guzowska, E -
item Bisognin, D -
item Bonierbale, Meredith -

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 25, 2013
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56727
Citation: Jansky, S.H., Dempewolf, H., Camadro, E., Simon, R., Zimnoch-Guzowska, E., Bisognin, D.A., Bonierbale, M. 2013. A case for crop wild relative preservation and utilization in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Crop Science. 53:746-754.

Interpretive Summary: Environmental degradation and climate change pose a threat to global food security. Recent decades have brought crop failures, food shortages, reductions in crop productivity, food price increases, and economic crises, highlighting the vulnerability of global food production systems for sustaining an ever-growing human population. Crop wild relatives (CWR) provide a critical resource to address food security needs by providing genetic diversity for crop improvement, leading to increased plasticity and productivity. The significance of the CWR resource is now becoming more apparent to policy makers. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009, the need to give attention to the conservation and use of crop genetic diversity was emphasized. However, plant breeders have typically not developed systematic or comprehensive strategies for the characterization and utilization of CWR for cultivar improvement. Consequently, the development of viable strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of CWR is required for germplasm enhancement of crop plants. In February, 2012, the Global Crop Diversity Trust convened a meeting of a group of potato CWR experts to discuss strategies for germplasm collection and utilization. This white paper is a product of that meeting. Both ex-situ and in-situ preservation of wild potato species is essential to assure a comprehensive conservation plan. A top priority is a re-inventory of gene bank collections, followed by re-collection of CWR where gaps exist. Access to CWR genetic diversity will continue to be critical as breeders face the challenge to develop new cultivars that fit into new production systems, especially in response to climate change. With the advent of the genomics era, new visions of germplasm utilization strategies are emerging. Gene banks may evolve from collections of seeds to dynamic research centers for gene mining. A systematic strategy is needed to evaluate CWR in gene banks for traits needed to continue breeding progress. Among adapted derivatives, characterization of a range of traits is likely to be productive. In addition, thorough evaluation of populations during the course of breeding must be a priority in order to find the unexpected while evaluating the contributions of CWR in relevant genetic backgrounds. This program should be split among research centers under one umbrella and joint durable funding.

Technical Abstract: Environmental degradation and climate change pose a threat to global food security. Crop wild relatives (CWR) provide a critical resource to address food security needs by providing genetic diversity for crop improvement, leading to increased plasticity and productivity. However, plant breeders have typically not developed systematic or comprehensive strategies for the characterization and utilization of CWR for cultivar improvement. Potato provides an excellent case study for the utilization of CWR germplasm in addressing global food security needs. International cooperation and collaboration are critical in order to collect, characterize and utilize CWR in anticipation of future potato production needs. Both ex-situ and in-situ preservation of wild potato species is essential to assure a comprehensive conservation plan. A top priority is a re-inventory of gene bank collections, followed by re-collection of CWR where gaps exist. Access to CWR genetic diversity will continue to be critical as breeders face the challenge of developing new cultivars that fit into new production systems, especially in response to climate change. With the advent of the genomics era, new visions of germplasm utilization strategies are emerging. In addition to filling gaps in collections, it will be important to expand efforts to characterize and utilize potato CWR. A systematic strategy is needed to evaluate CWR in gene banks for traits needed to continue breeding progress.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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