A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON GENETIC RESOURCES OF CACTUS PEAR; AN ASSET FOR THE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF SEMIARID LANDS
The world population is growing faster in countries with limited water supply. Climate change is also threatening stability of food production in semi-arid areas of the globe. Multipurpose hardy plants with physiological tolerance to drought such as cactus pears are choice crops, since they can be used as fruit, forage or vegetable crop as well as live fences to protect family households in dry regions. The germplasm will be the cornerstone of all future applications of cactus pear; intensive exploration, effective in situ and ex situ conservation, dynamic evaluation on new sites and vigorous projects of germplasm improvement are needed to realize the full potential of this valuable resource. Mexico, Italy and Brazil are sources of germplasm and know-how of cactus pear cultivation for fruit, vegetable and fodder production. It is proposed that international collaboration may speed up cactus pear breeding. Improved genotypes are the cornerstone of sustainable development of semi-arid areas of the world.
Mondragón-Jacobo, C. and Chessa, I. (2013). A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON GENETIC RESOURCES OF CACTUS PEAR; AN ASSET FOR THE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF SEMIARID LANDS. Acta Hortic. 995, 19-26
Opuntia ficus-indica, fruits, forage, breeding, conservation, characterization