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Research Project: Innovations that Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Managing and Preserving Ex Situ Plant Germplasm Collections

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Title: Sampling wild species to conserve genetic diversity

Author
item HOBAN, SEAN - Morton Arboretum
item Volk, Gayle
item ROUTSON, KANIN - University Of Arizona
item Walters, Christina
item Richards, Christopher

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: When sampling from wild populations, a plant collector needs to choose where to collect and how much to collect. While this may seem like simple choices, in fact careful planning of a collector’s sampling strategy is needed to ensure that a crop wild collection will contain high genetic variation, which is in turn needed to maximize breeding potential. Here we first describe the different conservation targets commonly used in ex situ conservation programs and the intensities at which a collector might sample. We then review research on the appropriate number of populations, plants, and seeds to collect, and then we review different methodologies available for helping to make these decisions. Lastly we review some practical aspects of sampling including how often to return to the source population to collect more seed and accounting for loss of seed during storage and use. We also emphasize the utility of collecting abundant spatial and environmental data during seed sampling. The chapter develops a set sampling recommendations that balances the specific collection objectives while also maximizing the utility gene banked materials for future research.

Technical Abstract: Sampling seed from natural populations of crop wild relatives requires choice of the locations to sample from and the amount of seed to sample. While this may seem like a simple choice, in fact careful planning of a collector’s sampling strategy is needed to ensure that a crop wild collection will contain high genetic variation, which is in turn needed for high potential for breeding or selection. Here we first describe the different conservation targets and intensities at which a collector might sample. We then review research on the appropriate number of populations, plants, and seeds to collect, and then we review different methodologies available for helping to make these decisions. Lastly we review some practical aspects of sampling including how often to return to the source population to collect more seed and accounting for loss of seed during storage and use. We also emphasize the utility of collecting abundant spatial and environmental data during seed sampling, which will make ex situ collections useful for research and breeding for many years to come.