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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Evaluation, Enhancement, Genetics and Breeding of Lettuce, Spinach, and Melon Title: Asia’s Indigenous Horticultural Crops: An Introduction

Authors
item Mou, Beiquan
item Wang, Guangyao -

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2012
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Mou, B., Wang, G. 2012. Asia’s indigenous horticultural crops: an introduction. HortScience. 47:819-820.

Interpretive Summary: Horticulture today is faced with an erosion of crop diversity as monoculture systems dominate crop production throughout the world, particularly in Europe and North America. At the same time there is great interest in indigenous horticultural crops around the globe from increased emphasis on sustainable and alternative agriculture, commercialization of unique and potentially high-value crops, continued increases in organic production, heirloom varieties and popularity of farmers markets, and the imperative by all countries to protect and conserve their ancestral and indigenous crop resources. Moreover, new immigrants and ethnic groups worldwide seek the crops and tastes of their homelands. Asia covers a wide range of geographic areas and climates, has a long history of agriculture, is one of the most horticulturally dynamic regions in the world, and encompasses a great diversity of native fruit, nut, vegetable and ornamental crops of important nutritional and economic value in local areas for centuries. Many of them have been evaluated and developed for new markets such as pharmaceutical, industrial, or biofuel uses, but many more of these crops have received little attention from researchers in the U.S., and face threats of biotic and abiotic stresses and shrinking acreage. The Asian Horticulture Working Group of the American Society for Horticultural Science organized the workshop “Asia’s Indigenous Horticultural Crops” at the 2009 annual conference of the society in St. Louis, Missouri to introduce these crops to the American researchers. Experts from Asian countries and the U.S. introduced these unique and interesting horticultural crops from Asia and detailed their domestication, use, nutritional value, genetic resources, production, and current research status; discussed the limitations and challenges in their preservation and utilization; and identified opportunities, strategies, and priorities for future development and commercialization of these crops in Asia and other parts of the world.

Technical Abstract: Crop diversity is an urgent issue today in horticulture, which is faced with an erosion of crop variability as monoculture systems dominate crop production throughout the world, particularly in Europe and North America. At the same time there is great interest in indigenous horticultural crops around the globe from increased emphasis on sustainable and alternative agriculture, commercialization of unique and potentially high-value crops, continued increases in organic production, heirloom varieties and popularity of farmers markets, and the imperative by all countries to protect and conserve their ancestral and indigenous crop resources. Moreover, new immigrants and ethnic groups worldwide seek the crops and tastes of their homelands. Asia covers a wide range of geographic areas and climates, has a long history of agriculture, is one of the most horticulturally dynamic regions in the world, and encompasses a great diversity of native fruit, nut, vegetable and ornamental crops of important nutritional and economic value in local areas for centuries. Many of them have been evaluated and developed for new markets such as pharmaceutical, industrial, or biofuel uses, but many more of these crops have received little attention from researchers in the U.S., and face threats of biotic and abiotic stresses and shrinking acreage. The Asian Horticulture Working Group of the American Society for Horticultural Science organized the workshop “Asia’s Indigenous Horticultural Crops” at the 2009 annual conference of the society in St. Louis, Missouri to introduce these crops to the American researchers. Experts from Asian countries and the U.S. introduced these unique and interesting horticultural crops from Asia and detailed their domestication, use, nutritional value, genetic resources, production, and current research status; discussed the limitations and challenges in their preservation and utilization; and identified opportunities, strategies, and priorities for future development and commercialization of these crops in Asia and other parts of the world.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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