Type: Chapter

Wheat genetic resources: global conservation and use for the future

Author Paula Bramel

formerly Crop Trust (Germany)

Publication date:

27 June 2017

ID: 9781838792961

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The importance of wheat to the global food supply means that many institutions across the world hold collections of wheat germplasm to study and preserve wheat genetic material. This chapter describes a global ex situ conservation strategy to assess the status of wheat genetic resources held by institutions, identifying major germplasm collections from existing public databases and targeting institutions holding unique accessions of wild relatives. Drawing on information from the surveys, the chapter identifies areas for global action. These include regeneration of old accessions, safety duplication of collections, a comprehensive global information system to enhance the use of conserved germplasm, global rationalization of accessions and filling gaps. The chapter concludes that ex situ collections, currently underutilized, represent significant pools for the future improvement of wheat. With new tools from genomics, exploitation of these collections is likely to increase, but there is an urgent need to better secure their conservation.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Wheat genetic resources
3 Global wheat germplasm collections
4 Surveys of germplasm collections and their clients
5 Key findings from the surveys
6 Enhanced use of germplasm accessions
7 Future trends and conclusion
8 Where to look for further information
9 References