A.M. Barata, F.A. Rocha , V.M. Lopes, J. Morgado, J. Maia, E. Bettencourt, S. Dias, F. Delgado, M. Costa, N. Farinha , O. Póvoa, L. Salgueiro, A.C. Figueiredo
Genetic Resources are crucial to support human wellbeing by contributing to increase the income of the rural populations, thus, their general welfare, by maintaining the traditional sustainable agricultural systems. However, their importance goes far beyond the immediate economic value, as it has also drawn considerable interest at scientific and political levels as important elements contributing to local and global food security and quality. Being a repository of unforeseen potentialities, Medicinal, Aromatic and Culinary Plants Genetic Resources (MACP-GR) should be studied and preserved for the benefit of present and future generations. In the past few decades, research programmes on MACP-GR have been focusing on biochemical evaluation of wild material. Moreover, in the last decade, efforts have been made to preserve this genetic material in situ and ex situ. Since 2000, several researchers have pulled synergies and joined efforts and have proposed collaborative networks on MACP-GR. It was possible to define a first MAP Programme for the in situ and ex situ conservation, ethnobotany, characterization, evaluation in support of the promotion of their sustainable utilisation. In Portugal, the MAP collection preserved in ex situ conditions (field, seed and in vitro collections), totals 1224 accessions belonging, inter alia, to the families Liliaceae (3%), Apiaceae (2%) and Lamiaceae (0.7%). So far, 27 species belonging to these families were characterized, evaluated and multiplied, and a total of 1394 ethnobotanical questionnaires were elaborated at national level based on 804 interviews. Through these established networks it was possible to increase the extent and effectiveness of the knowledge about this important pool of genetic material and engage in systematic morphological characterisation and biochemical evaluation. The acquired integrated and complementary knowledge will allow for and the support of MAP future actions, associating the understanding and management of biodiversity and genetic resources conservation and utilisation.
Barata, A.M., Rocha , F.A., Lopes, V.M., Morgado, J., Maia, J., Bettencourt, E., Dias, S., Delgado, F., Costa, M., Farinha , N., Póvoa, O., Salgueiro, L. and Figueiredo, A.C. (2011). NETWORKING ON CONSERVATION AND USE OF MEDICINAL, AROMATIC AND CULINARY PLANTS GENETIC RESOURCES IN PORTUGAL. Acta Hortic. 925, 21-35
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.925.2
MAP, network, biodiversity

Acta Horticulturae