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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372687

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

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Title: Modelled distributions and conservation priorities of wild sorghums (Sorghum Moench)

item MYRANS, HARRY - Monash University
item DIAZ, MARIA - International Center For Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
item Khoury, Colin
item CARVER, DANIEL - Colorado State University
item HENRY, ROBERT - Queensland University - Australia
item GLEADOW, ROS - Monash University

Submitted to: Diversity and Distributions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2020
Publication Date: 9/27/2020
Citation: Myrans, H., Diaz, M.V., Khoury, C.K., Carver, D., Henry, R.J., Gleadow, R. 2020. Modelled distributions and conservation priorities of wild sorghums (Sorghum Moench). Diversity and Distributions. 26(12):1727-1740.

Interpretive Summary: The wild relatives of domesticated sorghum are useful for crop breeding, but may be threatened in their natural habitats and insufficiently represented in genebanks. We investigated the conservation status of the 21 wild relatives of sorghum, finding that they are underrepresented in genebanks and in protected areas. We outline priorities for further conservation action.

Technical Abstract: To fill knowledge gaps regarding the distributions and conservation status of sorghum’s wild relatives (Sorghum Moench). The study covered the potential native ranges of wild Sorghum species in Australia, New Guinea, Asia and Africa. We modelled the distributions of 21 wild Sorghum species, characterised their ecogeographic niches, assessed their conservation status both ex situ and in situ, and performed preliminary threat assessments. Two species were categorised as “high priority” for further conservation based on their ex situ and in situ assessments, with a further 18 as “medium priority” and only one as “low priority”. In situ conservation is typically more comprehensive than ex situ protections, with seven species categorised as high priorities for further ex situ conservation, compared to one high priority species in situ. The preliminary threat assessment indicated that one species may be endangered, five near threatened, and 15 least concern. Species richness hotspots in northern Australia represent particularly high priority regions for seed collections and increased in situ conservation. Species in sorghum’s primary genepool (Sorghum arundinaceum and Sorghum propinquum) are high priorities for further ex situ conservation, while Sorghum macrospermum is the highest priority for increased in situ protection.