Current status of coffee genetic resources: implications for conservation – case study in Madagascar

S. Krishnan, T.A. Ranker, A.P. Davis, J.-J. Rakotomalala
Coffee genetic resources are being lost at a rapid pace, leading to loss of genetic diversity. Various threats contribute to the erosion of coffee genetic diversity such as human population pressures leading to conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation and land degradation; low coffee prices leading to abandoning of coffee trees in forests and gardens and shifting cultivation to other more remunerative crops; and climate change. Additionally, the cultivated species of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) has a very narrow genetic base. Increased incidence of pests and diseases associated with climate change is leading to significant crop losses, threatening livelihoods in many coffee growing countries. A comprehensive conservation strategy for coffee should take into account complementary methods of in situ and ex situ conservation. The development of molecular techniques has expanded the possibilities and tools for genetic analysis for efficient conservation and use of coffee genetic resources. Before it is too late, a thorough evaluation of existing germplasm should be performed based upon which a comprehensive conservation strategy could be developed. A case study using four different Coffea species in Madagascar is discussed.
Krishnan, S., Ranker, T.A., Davis, A.P. and Rakotomalala, J.-J. (2015). Current status of coffee genetic resources: implications for conservation – case study in Madagascar. Acta Hortic. 1101, 15-20
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1101.3
genetic diversity, ex situ conservation, in situ conservation, Coffea commersoniana, Coffea kianjavatensis, Coffea montis-sacri, Coffea vatovavyensis, cryopreservation

Acta Horticulturae