Submitted to: CSSA Special Publication: International Germplasm Transfer-Past and Present
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Sunflower is truly an international crop presently grown on 37 million acre in 40 countries. Sunflower's utilization as an oilseed crop is relatively recent compared to many other crop species. Sunflower as a crop does not have a large international center to coordinate germplasm efforts from around the world for improvement of the crop. Presently international sunflower germplasm activities are focussed on broadening the genetic base and increasing genetic diversity. There is also an awareness of the importance of plant genetic resources for plant breeding and the danger of potential losses in existing variability. Sunflower researchers have recognized the need to collaborate beyond national boundaries in order to safeguard the sunflower as an oilseed crop. International germplasm activities have been the efforts of a small dedicated group of researchers and producers. The efforts have been facilitated by large international organization such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). As the world order changes, so must the organizations which support germplasm activities. The sunflower crop will benefit from the establishment of a global sunflower network. Producers will benefit by having improved sunflower hybrids of high quality, stable performance, and minimum genetic vulnerability.
Technical Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is a recent international crop grown on 15 million hectares in 40 countries. As a recent crop, it does not have an international center to coordinate world-wide germplasm activities associated with the crop. Present international germplasm activities cente around the need to increase genetic variability useful for plant breeding and scientific development in plant genetics. There is also an awareness preserve the wild progenitors of the crop species before they are destroyed In sunflower, international activities have been coordinated by large international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization o the United Nations (FAO), and the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). With the development of the crop, there has been a need to collaborate beyond national boundaries in order to safeguard the sunflower as an oilseed crop. The ultimate goal in germplasm resources conservation is a global network and the current political changes offer further opportunities to strengthen cooperation between east and west European countries and the rest of the world. The sunflower industry will benefit from the establishment of a global sunflower network by enhancing exchange of information and breeding stocks and the accessibility of research results for incorporation into breeding and production programs. Sunflower production will benefit world-wide with improved sunflower hybrids of high quality, stable performance, and minimum genetic vulnerability