Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2005
Publication Date: July 20, 2005
Citation: Hummer, K.E. 2005. Future fruit exploration [abstract]. Hortscience. 40(4):975-976. Interpretive Summary: The earth’s fruits have nurtured and intrigued humanity throughout history. The background and origin of cultivated fruit species is highly complex. Research now links fruit consumption with increased nutritional benefit. Prospecting for wild fruit will continue. We will need to expand the amount of wild material available for fruit improvement. New technologies will enable future explorers to reach less accessible sites and species. Recent advances, such as geo-positioning and remote communication devices, will be used to a greater degree. Collection sites can be pin-pointed and plant or seed origins can be documented in detail. International treaties have determined that each country has sovereign rights over their wild plant species. Country-to-country agreements must be prepared before plants can be collected in foreign lands. While this requires more time, the international scientific community is developing global strategies to encourage and support genebanks and plant exchange in the long-term preservation of plants for human benefit.
Technical Abstract: The fruits of the earth have nurtured and intrigued humanity throughout history. Genome complexities of cultivated fruit species combined with people’s increased nutritional needs insure that the future will be no different. Prospecting for wild fruit will continue. The global nature of science and commerce will dictate the need to expand available genetic resources for fruit improvement. New technologies will enable future explorers to reach less accessible sites and species. Recent advances, such as geo-positioning and remote communication devices, will be used to a greater degree for targeting specific collection sites and documenting records of origin. As initiated by the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1993 and the International Treaty of 2004, the sovereignty of countries over their dominion of plant genetic resources will continue to be a cornerstone for negotiations in bilateral agreements. While this could be considered to be a limitation to plant exploration under some situations, global strategies, now in conceptual infancy, will be developed to encourage and support ex situ preservation and continued plant exchange for long-term conservation and humanitarian benefit.