Submitted to: International Symposium on Sunflower in Developing Countries
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2002
Publication Date: May 1, 2002
Citation: Seiler, G.J. 2002. Wild sunflower germplasm: A perspective on characertistics of use to sunflower breeders in developing countries [abstract]. International Symposium on Sunflower in Developing Countries. Technical Abstract: Sunflower is produced on 15 million hectares in 40 countries worldwide. The 4th largest edible oilseed crop and 2nd largest hybrid seed crop. The large geographic area on which sunflower is produced requires the crop to be very adaptable to many stresses including diseases, insects, and environmental factors. Wild relatives of cultivated sunflower are geneti- cally diverse and readily available for genetic improvement of the crop. The wild sunflower gene bank has over 2100 accessions with 50 species, 14 annual and 36 perennial species. Sunflower as a cultivated crop has a long history of utilizing both wild and cultivated germplasm to increase its genetic diversity and economic value. In the USA alone, the economic impact of the sunflower industry is 2.6 billion dollars annually, of which the wild species contribute an est. 269.2 million dollars. Wild species are the source of the male sterile cytoplasm used in most commercial hybrids, and of several resistance genes for prevalent sunflower patho- gens. The wild paradoxical sunflower is the source of a dominant gene for salt tolerance that has been incorporated into cultivated sunflower. Recently a population of wild annual sunflower was identified as a source of genes for resistance to the sulfonylurea and imidazolinone herbicides. Peredovik, PI 287231, is a high oil cultivar introduced from the former Soviet Union that forms the basis of high oil sunflower used worldwide. It was developed from wild Jerusalem artichoke populations over 40 years ago. Populations of some wild annual sunflowers have a high frequency of genes for resistance to rust and downy mildew. The wild species germplasm has been used extensively to diversify the genetics of sunflower to make it an adaptable, viable, and sustainable crop no matter where it is grown.