On farm conservation of fruit genetic resources
The evolution of fruit cultivars is a spontaneous process influenced by many factors and growing traditions. It consists of an initial historic phase of unconscious selection by growers for several hundred or thousand years, followed by intentional selection by breeders in successive breeding steps. Traditional fruit landraces represent a valuable part of genetic diversity, because they differ from their wild progenitors morphologically and genetically and they are not influenced by narrowing of genetic base in modern breeding programmes. Old landraces are usually specific for a county and represent also a cultural heritage of a particular nation. The long-term security of fruit genetic resources collections requires their conservation by several techniques. On farm conservation is an alternative method for preservation of fruit genetic resources in indigenous areas. This method is currently investigated and applied at the Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology Holovousy, Ltd. (RBIPH). Three on farm plantations KRNAP Vrchlabi, Orchard of Reconciliation Neratov, and National park Sumava were successfully established in cooperation with RBIPH. At present, there are mostly apple, pear, plum and sweet cherry landraces in these plantations. For the longevity of the plantation, seedling rootstocks were used for production of planting material. On farm collections comprise plants representing a diversity of genes and gene combinations for particular traits for each preserved fruit species. For efficient use of this biodiversity source, comprehensive evaluation of phenotypic and genotypic characters is carried out by the RBIPH. This approach appears to be a promising method as a duplicate long-term conservation method.
Paprstein, F., Sedlak, J. and Brandova, P. (2021). On farm conservation of fruit genetic resources. Acta Hortic. 1307, 127-130
landraces, cultivars, ex situ, biodiversity, conservation