Plant diversity sustains all animal life, and the genetic diversity within plants underpins global food security. This text provides a practical and theoretical introduction to the strategies and actions to adopt for conserving plant genetic variation, as well as explaining how humans can exploit this diversity for sustainable development. Notably readable, it initially offers current knowledge on the characterization and evaluation of plant genetic resources. The authors then discuss strategies from in situ and ex situ conservation to crop breeding, exploring how these can be used to improve food security in the face of increasing agrobiodiversity loss, human population growth and climate change. Each chapter draws on examples from the literature or the authors’ research and includes further reading references. Containing other useful features such as a glossary, it is invaluable for professionals and undergraduate and graduate students in plant sciences, ecology, conservation, genetics and natural resource management.
Contents: Foreword; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Establishing the social, political and ethical context; 3. Plant taxonomy; 4. Plant population genetics; 5. Genetic diversity measurement; 6. Planning plant conservation; 7. Conservation strategies and techniques; 8. In situ conservation; 9. On-farm conservation; 10. Community-based conservation; 11. Germplasm collecting; 12. Seed gene bank conservation; 13. Whole plant, plantlet and DNA conservation; 14. Plant uses; 15. Germplasm evaluation; 16. Plant breeding; 17. Participatory plant breeding; 18. Conservation data management; Glossary; Acronyms and Abbreviations; References; Index.
Author Biography: Nigel Maxted is Professor of Plant Genetic Conservation in the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, UK. He works on conservation planning and implementation, and has published over 350 scientific papers and book chapters and twenty-four books. He is Chair of the IUCN SSC Crop Wild Relative Specialist Group, UK Plant Genetic Resources Committee, and European Cooperative Programme for PGR In Situ Working Group. He is also the International Scientific Advisor for Bioversity International. Danny Hunter is Senior Scientist at Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. He works on conservation and sustainable use of crop and tree genetic resources and their role in linking sustainable agriculture, environment, health and nutrition. He has twenty-five years’ experience working with partners and family farmers in over thirty countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South and South East Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. Rodomiro Ortiz is Chair Professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden. He has written over 800 publications and was the leader of a multidisciplinary team working on a plantain and banana improvement project that CGIAR awarded the 1994 King Baudouin Award to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for. He was also Co-Principal Investigator for a SLU/ICARDA-led project that won the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.