Location: National Germplasm Resources LaboratoryTitle: Conservation of crop wild relatives in the United States
Submitted to: Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Crop wild relatives (CWR) in the US include both the wild progenitors of crops that were domesticated in the country, as well as other native and naturalized species closely related to crops domesticated elsewhere. They are found throughout the country, with an especially high concentration in the east. The largest ex situ collections of CWR germplasm from the US are part of the National Plant Germplasm System, managed by the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). Other germplasm conservation networks, including the Bureau of Land Management-led Seeds of Success, the Center for Plant Conservation’s Collection of Endangered Plants, and the American Public Gardens Association\US National Arboretum-coordinated Plant Collections Network support collection and conservation of plants that include CWR. Sampling of CWR germplasm for ex situ conservation is constantly filling gaps in collections, especially for certain crop groups, including potato, sunflower and small fruits. In situ conservation of CWR in the US is mostly passive, involving protected areas that were established for other objectives. New initiatives have the potential to more deliberately expand efforts for in situ conservation.