Allium genetic resources

E.R.J. Keller, C. Kik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


An overview of the developments in Allium genetic resources during the past 25 years is presented in this chapter. A first important development has been the introduction and further development of web-based genebanking information systems (e.g. GENESYS, PLANTSEARCH), which facilitated the exchange of data to a large extent between Allium collection holders worldwide. These information systems made it possible to obtain an overview of the Allium genetic resources managed worldwide and identify the gaps in collections which still need to be filled, especially in the face of the ongoing genetic erosion. A second important area of progress has been the development of new methods for the maintenance of Allium germplasm, especially cryopreservation. This method has made it possible to maintain Allium accessions in a cheap and effective way. The method is especially important for the conservation of vegetatively maintained germplasm. Other developments in Allium genebanking are the improvement of the health status of the germplasm kept in the collections and the continuing characterization and evaluation of germplasm, which stimulates the utilization of the Allium genetic resources held in genebanks. Significant changes could also be observed with respect to acquisition and exchange of plant genetic resources due to many and complex new regulations on the legal and organizational levels due to the adoption of the CBD and IT-PGRFA by many countries. It makes the handling of the plant accessions safer and more consistent but also more circumstantial. Finally, we need to underline that in an increasingly changing world with all the threats of genetic erosion and extinction due to disappearance of traditional cultivation methods, devastation of our environment and climatic change, the conservation of genetic resources is of prime importance for agriculture. Especially for breeders, a highly diverse genepool of a crop plant is an invaluable treasure. The importance to keep this treasure will no doubt become even more important in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Allium genomes
EditorsM. Shigyo, A. Khar, M. Abdelrahman
ISBN (Electronic)9783319958255
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameCompendium of Plant Genomes
ISSN (Print)2199-4781
ISSN (Electronic)2199-479X

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