Submitted to: CSSA Special Publications
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 1999
Publication Date: December 19, 1999
Citation: Greene, S.L. 1999. Conservation of Lotus genetic resources. In P.R. Beuselinck, C. Hoveland (ed.) Trefoil Science and Technology, pp. 61-80. CSSA Special Publication 28, Madison, WI. Interpretive Summary: The gene pool concept provides an effective framework for defining Lotus genetic resources and developing conservation priorities in the genus. This paper defines the gene pool of the genus Lotus of which birdsfoot trefoil, is an important forage legume crop. The paper then reviews the extent that species with in the genus are threatened with erosion or extinction, and reviews efforts by the USDA NPGS to develop a germplasm collection that conserves valuable genetic resources of this genus.
Technical Abstract: Since its inception in the early 1970's, the gene pool concept introduced by Harlan and de Wet has provided a conceptual framework for preserving crop genetic resources. The concept has been used to define the boundaries of crop gene pools and has guided the evolution of germplasm collections beyond simple assemblages of potential plant introductions. The gene pool concept provides an effective framework for defining Lotus genetic resources and developing conservation priorities in the genus. Having defined the gene pool and identified conservation priorities the stage is set to evaluate the extent of genetic erosion in the genus and review global efforts to maintain genetic diversity in the genus Lotus