Management of citrus genetic resources in India: approaches, applications and achievements

S.K. Malik, R. Chaudhury, I.P. Singh
Citrus, representing several wild and cultivated species has its home in Northeast and Northwest India. The occurrence and origin of Indian species was documented by various explorers and horticulturists since 1954 and subsequently refined/modified during the last decade. Besides the commercially cultivated species, several important species like Citrus indica, C. macroptera, C. latipes, C. megaloxycarpa, C. medica, C. ichangensis and C. assamensis grow in India in wild and semi-wild state. These wild and semi-wild species of Citrus have immense socio-economic, cultural, religious and medicinal value, besides being important sources for agronomic traits. These genetic resources are important for the citrus industry and crop improvement programmes. The natural diversity of citrus is reportedly shrinking at an alarming rate due to large-scale deforestation and farmersRSQUO preference for more remunerable crops. However, only few of the plants of semi-wild species are grown in backyard gardens of tribal farmers in the northeast and north-west India. To achieve comprehensive conservation and to protect these vast genetic resources for utilization, a complementary conservation strategy is to be adopted. The present study concentrated on the documentation of the status of wild, semi-wild and cultivated species of citrus occurring in India, their traditional uses, economic potential and threat perception to aid in designing suitable strategies for their survey, explorations, sustainable utilization, conservation and preservation. The paper also highlights the efforts being made to establish a unique cryopreserved base collection of Indian Citrus germplasm collected from diverse sources, including field genebanks, ensuring long-term conservation.
Malik, S.K., Chaudhury, R. and Singh, I.P. (2015). Management of citrus genetic resources in India: approaches, applications and achievements. Acta Hortic. 1101, 39-46
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1101.7
cryobank, embryos, embryonic axes, in situ, on-farm, non-orthodox

Acta Horticulturae