A strategy to conserve worldwide apple genetic resources: survey results
Access to diverse apple (Malus) genetic resources is critical for future breeding efforts and improved production of this important tree fruit genus. Wild Malus species offer desirable sources of resistance to pathogens as well as tolerance to abiotic stress. Novel cultivars may have unique allelic combinations that provide adaptations to changing climatic patterns. Many countries have national or institutional collections of apple cultivars and species that are often maintained in the field. A Global Conservation Strategy for Apple is being developed to ensure the secure conservation of apple genetic resources in gene banks. As part of the planning, apple collections worldwide were surveyed to determine their conservation status, vulnerability, and use. Survey results revealed a broad range in collection sizes, vulnerability, back-up status, and documentation. Distribution policies varied greatly among collections, with some collections limited to distribution within their own countries, and others that are widely distributed at the international level. Overall, there is a strong willingness among collection curators to collaborate, share information, and to ensure that global apple genetic resources are safely conserved for the long term.
Volk, G.M. and Bramel, P. 2017. A strategy to conserve worldwide apple genetic resources: survey results. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1172:99-106
Malus, genetic resources, global conservation strategy