SAFFRON, A SUSTAINABLE CROP WITH POTENTIAL MEDICINAL AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
Saffron is made from the dried stigmas of the saffron flower (Crocus sativus L.), a triploid sterile plant that is vegetatively propagated by means of bulbs (corms). Saffron is mostly used as spice (the most expensive food product) and food colorant and, less extensively, as a textile dye or perfume. However, due to its analgesic and sedative properties, traditional herbal medicines have used saffron for the treatment of numerous illnesses for centuries. Nowadays, there is increased interest in research on saffron nutraceutical, chemopreventive, and pharmaceutical properties. The loss of land surface dedicated to saffron crop in many areas has resulted in a corresponding genetic erosion. In order to stop this loss of biodiversity, the CrocusBank project pursues to create, characterise, and exploit a germplasm collection (bank) in Crocus species, including saffron, at a global scale. In this paper, the CrocusBank project funded by European Union through its AGRI GEN RES Programme is presented by its coordinator.
Fernández, J.-A. (2009). SAFFRON, A SUSTAINABLE CROP WITH POTENTIAL MEDICINAL AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS. Acta Hortic. 806, 315-322
germplasm bank, biodiversity, CrocusBank, Crocus sativus, genetic erosion, genetic resources, germplasm