Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348874

Research Project: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Preservation and Quality Assessment

Location: Location not imported yet.

Title: Wild plant genetic resources in North America: an overview

item Greene, Stephanie
item Khoury, Colin
item Williams, Karen
item KANTAR, MICHAEL - University Of Hawaii
item MAREK, LAURA - Iowa State University

Submitted to: North American Crop Wild Relatives
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2018
Publication Date: 12/13/2018
Citation: Greene, S.L., Khoury, C.K., Williams, K.A. 2018. Wild plant genetic resources in North America: an overview. In: Greene, S.L., Williams, K.A., Khoury, C.K., Kantar, M.B., Marek, L.F., editors. North American Crop Wild Relatives. Volume 1: Conservation Strategies. New York, NY: Springer, Cham. p. 3-32.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Wild plant species are emerging as an important resource for improving food and agricultural production. North America, including Canada, Mexico and the United States, is rich in native species used directly by humans in both ancient and modern times. The continent has also given rise to globally important domesticated crops including maize, beans, cotton, and sunflower. Many native and naturalized species have potential for use, either directly or through breeding, because they are close relatives to these crop plants and others. However, despite increasing recognition of their potential value, a lack of information, conservation, and access to samples hinders their use in crop improvement and development. This chapter provides an overview of the agriculturally relevant wild plant resources found in North America. The focus is on wild relatives of globally important major crops that are important targets for conservation, as well as the relatives of regionally or locally important crops. The chapter concludes by discussing the general strategies for conserving agriculturally relevant wild plant genetic resources, including the international regulatory frameworks affecting policies to various degrees in Canada, Mexico and the United States.