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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Book Review: Biodiversity in Trust: Conservation and Use of Plant Geneticresources in Cgiar

Author
item SEILER, GERALD

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has a goal of achieving global food security through support of 16 international agricultural research centers located in 12 developing and three developed countries. The CGIAR Centers hold many important crop species in their germplasm collections at various international centers. In 1994 CGIAR Centers signed an agreement to place their germplasm collections in trust for the world community under the intergovernmental authority of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The terms of these agreement stipulate that the materials will be maintained by the CGIAR to international technical standards and will continue to be made available to all, with the understanding that no intellectual property protection is to be applied to the material. The CGIAR decided to document their collections and their use by publishing a book "Biodiversity in trust: Conservation and use of plant genetic resources in CGIAR". It covers 22 crops, including such staples as rice, wheat, maize, and potatoes, to lesser known crops such as cassava, yams, sorghum, and millet. The CGIAR crops covered provide 75% of the world's food supply. The book provides a unique synthesis of knowledge drawn from the CGIAR Centers providing an invaluable reference for those concerned with monitoring, maintaining, and utilizing the biodiversity of our staple crop species and several of the lesser known crops grown in developing areas of the world.

Technical Abstract: The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) signed an agreement in 1994 under the intergovernmental authority of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to place their germplasm collections in trust for the world community. This provided the impetus for the publication of a book "Biodiversity in trust: Conservation and use of plant genetic resources in CGIAR". The book has assembled information on the global status of the conservation and use of CGIAR mandated crops that provide 75% of the world's food supply. The book's 22 chapters describe efforts of the CGIAR Centers and their national programs and partners to conserve and improve crops and forage species that are critical to food security of the world's most disadvantaged people. Each chapter covers a specific crop from staples such as rice, wheat, maize, and potatoes, that are common the world over, to other less commonly known crops such as cassava, yams, sorghum, and millet. The information covered for each crop includes botany, distribution, taxonomy, origin, domestication, and reproductive biology. Germplasm conservation and uses are emphasized with information about the size of the germplasm collection, utilization, useful properties, evaluation and breeding. Biodiversity in trust provides a unique synthesis of knowledge drawn from the CGIAR Centers providing an invaluable reference for those concerned with monitoring, maintaining, and utilizing biodiversity of crop species.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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