Type: Book

Plant genetic resources A review of current research and future needs


Dr M. Ehsan Dulloo is Principal Scientist at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. He is also co-Leader of the Genetic Diversity Cluster in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas. He has previously served as Senior Policy Officer, Plant Genetic Resources, at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He was the lead author of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report, FAO first and second State of the World Reports on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 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 March 2021

Length of book:

352 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764515

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"It is likely that Plant genetic resources will become the essential methods manual to facilitate their international exchange and local dissemination. It may well become the standard reference for researchers at universities, institutes, government departments and plant nurseries for many years. It provides an indispensable contribution as a handbook for plant collectors."
(Plant Science Bulletin - Botanical Society of America)

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. The book assesses ways of valuing and monitoring plant genetic diversity and discusses advances in in-situ and ex-situ strategies for conserving plant genetic diversity. The book concludes by reviewing 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.

What others are saying...

"What it provides is an extensive, much-needed and detailed coverage of a broad range of topics, from the importance and value of plant genetic resources and key methods for conserving them, through to their international exchange and local dissemination through more effective seed systems. The senior editor of the book, Ehsan Dulloo, is to be congratulated on such a timely and useful publication. Furthermore, the range of authors of the individual chapters and the institutions they represent is truly impressive and reads like a Who’s Who of plant genetic resources!"
(from the Foreword by Geoffrey Hawtin, Former Director General - Bioversity International and Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Founding CEO - Global Crop Diversity Trust)

"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.Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture for sustainable development: Chikelu Mba, Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources Team – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy; M. Ehsan Dulloo, Bioversity International, Italy; and Kent Nnadozie, Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy;
2.Valuing plant genetic resources in genebanks: Past, present and future: Melinda Smale, Michigan State University, USA; and Nelissa Jamora and Luigi Guarino, Global Crop Diversity Trust, Germany;
3.Monitoring plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: M. Ehsan Dulloo, Bioversity International, Italy; Prishnee Bissessur, Bioversity International, Mauritius; and Jai Rana, Bioversity International, India
4.Improving the global exchange of germplasm for crop breeding: Selim Louafi, UMR AGAP Institut, CIRAD, University of Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France; and Eric Welch, Arizona State University, USA;

Part 2 Protecting plant genetic diversity: in-situ and on-farm strategies
5.Key steps in conservation and use of plant genetic resources: an overview: Nigel Maxted and Joana Magos Brehm, University of Birmingham, UK;
6.Key issues facing genebanks in preserving crop genetic diversity ex situ: overview of the range of challenges: Paula Bramel, formally Crop Trust, Germany;
7.Techniques and key issues in collecting crop wild relatives: 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: Åsmund Asdal, Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen), 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 programs to optimize use of crop genetic resources: Margaret Smith, Cornell University, USA; and J. C. Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA;
12.Seed systems and diversity: Niels Louwaars, Plantum and Wageningen University, Law Group, The Netherlands;
13.DNA-based screening of Brassica germplasm for sustainable and enhanced crop production: Yueqi Zhang, The University of Western Australia, Australia; Ting Xiang Neik, Sunway College Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Junrey C. Amas, Aldrin Y. Cantila, Nur Shuhadah Mohd Saad, Tingting Wu and Jacqueline Batley, The University of Western Australia, Australia;