Type: Book

Plant genetic resources A review of current research and future needs


Dr Ehsan Dulloo is a Team Leader for a Bioversity International Initiative on Effective Genetic Resources Conservation and Use. Dr Dulloo is also co-Leader of the Genetic Diversity Cluster in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, as well as co-Chair of the Crop Wild Relative Specialist Group. He has been a Senior Policy Officer at the FAO. He was the lead author of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report and, more recently, lead author of Chapter 2.2 Status and Trends - Nature in the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Report. He won the World Bank 2009 Development Marketplace Award on Climate Adaptation. Dr Dulloo has published widely on biodiversity and the conservation of genetic resources.



Publication date:

23 February 2021

Length of book:

360 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764515

Hardback - £160.00
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Maintaining and benefitting from plant genetic diversity are key challenges facing agriculture. Challenges include a narrowing genetic base for many key crops, the loss of landraces and wild varieties with agricultural intensification and urbanisation, and the need to develop the role of existing gene banks from repository of genetic diversity to enablers of the flow of germplasm and genetic information for breeding more robust varieties.

Plant genetic resources: A review of current research and future needs surveys the wealth of research addressing these challenges and the opportunity for a more integrated, global approach to protecting and leveraging plant genetic diversity for a more sustainable agriculture. Part 1 assesses ways of valuing and monitoring plant genetic diversity. Part 2 discusses advances in in-situ and ex-situ strategies for conserving plant genetic diversity. The final section reviews ways of enhancing the use of plant genetic diversity, including participatory plant breeding programmes and more effective seed systems.

With its eminent editor and range of international expertise, Plant genetic resources: A review of current research and future needs will be a standard reference for university and other researchers studying crop genetic resources and breeding, staff managing genebanks and germplasm collections, government and other agencies regulating the collection, storage and exchange of germplasm, as well as companies involved in crop breeding.

Key features

  • Covers both in-situ and ex-situ strategies for conserving and exploiting plant genetic diversity 
  • Particularly strong coverage of in-situ and on-farm techniques, including collection and management of wild plant populations, community-based conservation strategies, participatory plant breeding programmes and seed systems to ensure farmer access to improved varieties 
  • Covers improvements in characterising, evaluating and safe exchange of germplasm to accelerate crop breeding programmes

What others are saying...

"From conservation to use, from genebanks to on-farm conservation, from data management to policy issues, this volume will have it all. It's been a while since there was such a comprehensive review. I look forward to the book providing a baseline for researchers and practitioners for many years to come."
Luigi Guarino, Director of Science - Crop Trust, Germany

Table of contents

Part 1 Importance and value of conservation and use of plant genetic diversity
1.The importance of plant genetic diversity for food security and sustainable development: Chikelu Mba, FAO, Italy;
2.Valuing plant genetic diversity: Melinda Smale, Michigan State University, USA;
3.Identifying and monitoring plant genetic diversity: Ehsan Dulloo, Bioversity International, Italy
4.Improving the exchange of germplasm for crop breeding: Selim Louafi, CIRAD, France;

Part 2 Protecting plant genetic diversity: in-situ and on-farm strategies
5.Key steps in preserving plant genetic diversity: an overview: Nigel Maxted, University of Birmingham, UK;
6.Key issues facing genebanks in preserving crop genetic diversity: Paula Bramel, Crop Trust, Germany;
7.Key issues and techniques in collecting crop wild relatives (CWR): Michael Way, Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew, UK;
8.New technologies to improve the ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources: Fiona R. Hay, Aarhus University, Denmark; and Sershen, University of the Western Cape & Institute of Natural Resources, South Africa;
9.The role of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in preserving crop genetic diversity: Asmund Asdal, Nordic Genetic Resource Center, Sweden;

Part 3 Enhancing conservation and use of plant genetic diversity
10.Community-based conservation of crop genetic resources: Stef de Haan, International Potato Center (CIP), Peru;
11.Participatory plant breeding programmes to optimise use of crop genetic resources: Margaret Smith, Cornell University, USA;
12.Developing effective seed systems to optimise use of crop genetic resources: Niels Louwaars, Plantum, The Netherlands;
13.DNA-based screening of germplasm: Jacqui Batley, University of Queensland, Australia;