Development of a Global Conservation Strategy for Citrus Genetic Resources
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Citrus is an economically important world tree fruit crop with production in more than 146 countries. The center of origin for citrus is considered to be Southeastern Asia including southern China, northeastern India, and Malaysia, with secondary centers in surrounding areas. Novel and commercially significant scion and rootstock cultivars originating by natural mutation or directed hybridization were introduced during the past century. Significant genetic resource collections exist in many countries. A global citrus germplasm network was developed in 1997. Now that the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) has recognized Citrus as an Annex 1 crop, a global conservation strategy needs to be established. The objective of this workshop was to plan the development of this strategy. More than 60 delegates attended with representation from Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Columbia, France, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, UAE, US, and Vietnam. Nine oral presentations were given describing multiple aspects of genebank operations, technologies and gaps in Brazil, China, France, Australia, Spain, and the US. A draft genebank survey questionnaire was presented to the group and comments and suggested changes for improvement were received. Citrus curators and genebank managers throughout the world will be surveyed for the status and health of their collections. The surveys will be received and compiled by collaborators at the University of California, Riverside, and at the USDA ARS Riverside. This information will be compiled and reported. The strategy will include background and history of the development of Citrus as a cultivated crop, conservation protocols, vulnerabilities, and recommendations for safeguarding Citrus germplasm. This strategy will be implemented through the Global Crop Diversity Trust with collaboration from the International Society for Horticultural Science and the international Citrus research community.
Plant Biology not elsewhere classified