Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355700

Research Project: Efficient and Effective Preservation and Management of Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Collections

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Title: North American Crop Wild Relatives, Volume 2: Important Species

item Greene, Stephanie
item Williams, Karen
item Khoury, Colin
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: 4/2/2019
Citation: Greene, S.L., Williams, K.A., Khoury, C.K., Kantar, M.B., Marek, L.F. 2019. North American Crop Wild Relatives. Volume 2: Important Species. New York, NY: Springer, Cham. 740 p.

Interpretive Summary: This book, entitled "North America Crop Wild Relatives Volume 2. Important Species" covers the geographic region encompassed by Canada, the United States and Mexico. Contributed chapters are organized into 20 chapters that include a description, geographic distribution, potential usefulness, and conservation status of wild plant species related to important cereal, legume, vegetable, fruit and nut, forage, industrial, medicinal and ornamental crops Notably, the book contains hundreds of high quality color maps that depict species distributions of over 600 native plants, using cutting edge modeling techniques based on one of the most comprehensive sets of occurrence data ever compiled for such purposes, with the resulting maps vetted by experts. Since the information in this book has never been comprehensively compiled, we believe that this volume will be an important resource to support the combined efforts of both the agricultural and the natural resource communities to locate, conserve, manage and make available wild plant species that are valuable for agricultural security

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this book is to highlight the most important wild plant genetic resources that grow in North America, and focuses on Canada, the United States and Mexico; three major countries whose combined area covers most of the continent. A thorough understanding of the species that occupy North America, including their distributions, potential value to agriculture, and conservation statuses and needs, will give agricultural and conservation communities the basic knowledge they need to take steps to conserve our natural heritage of wild plants important to food and agriculture. The book includes maps of the geographic distributions of over a thousand species, modelled from the most comprehensive and up-to-date occurrence records and vetted by the authors. Three chapters cover crop wild relatives and wild utilized species of cereals, including maize (Zea L.), minor cereals (Amaranthus L., Avena L., Chenopodium L., Echinochloa P. Beauv., Fagopyrum Mill., Hordeum L., Panicum L., and Setaria P. Beauv.) and wildrice (Zizania L.). A single chapter covers beans (Phaseolus L.), whose areas of domestication include Mexico and possibly the United States and for which there are significant wild genetic resources in the two countries. Four chapters cover vegetables, including lettuce (Lactuca L..), pumpkins and squash (Cucurbita L.), peppers (Capsicum L.) and the following root crops: carrot (Daucus L.), sweetpotato (Ipomoea L.), potato (Solanum L. ), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus L.), jicama (Pachyrhizus Rich. ex DC.), cocoyam (Xanthosoma Schott.), cassava (Manihot Mill.), and beet (Beta L.). Fruits are covered by four chapters, focusing on temperate small fruits (strawberry (Fragaria L..), currants and gooseberries (Ribes L..), blackberries and raspberries (Rubus L..) and blueberries and cranberry (Vaccinium L.); a separate chapter on grapes (Vitis L.); temperate fruit trees (apple (Malus Mill.), stone fruits (Prunus L.), persimmon (Diospyros L.), and pawpaw (Asimina Adans.); and, finally, tropical fruit trees (avocado (Persea Mill.); mamey sapote (Pouteria Aubl.), and cherimoya (Annona L.). A chapter on genetic resources of temperate nut crops (chestnut (Castanea Mill.), hazelnut (Corylus L.), pecan (Carya Nutt.), pistachio (Pistacia L.) and walnut (Juglans L.) is also included. Industrial crops are represented by three chapters, one on sunflower (Helianthus L.); a second on rubber and minor oil seed crops [meadowfoam (Limnanthes R. Br.), lesquerella (Physaria (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) A. Gray ) and guayule (Parthenium L.)]; and a third on fiber crops, including cotton (Gossypium L.) and hesperaloe (Hesperaloe Engelm.). Another chapter covers forage and turf grasses (native warm season forage and turf, and cool season forage species). Finally there are chapters on wild species used as ornamentals, including those in the genera Coreopsis L., Rudbeckia L. and Phlox L. A final chapter in this section covers species used medicinally or for social purposes, highlighting black cohosh (Actaea L.), cacao (Theobroma L.), tobacco (Nicotiana L.) and hops (Humulus L.). The book concludes with a chapter that suggests a way forward to conserve these important genetic resources.