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Abstract Detail

Crop Wild Relatives and Land Races: the Sky Islands of Southwest North American Agriculture

Ellstrand, Norman [3], Klein, Laura [3], Miller, Allison [3].

Crop Wild Relatives and Land Races: the Sky Islands of Southwest North American Agriculture.

Abstract: The southwest region of North America is home to a unique flora, with multiple habitats that span the lowlands of the Sonoran Desert to mountainous sky islands. These distinctive ecosystems are rich with biodiversity and have provided for people of the region for thousands of years. The southwest is a major thruway for the movement of crops, including beans, maize, sunflowers, and pumpkins, among others. Modern indigenous knowledge and research suggests that many crop wild relatives and landraces may still persist in the diverse environments of southwestern United States and Mexico. To advance conservation of these important species, attention is refocusing on protecting indigenous knowledge, descriptive biodiversity assessments, and managing biodiversity collections through seed saving and germplasm management. The goal of this symposium is to explore conservation deficiencies and efforts of crop wild relatives and landraces, from southwest regional to international perspectives. Representing germplasm conservation to ethnobotanical knowledge of Sonoran Desert researchers, we will examine what work is being done in the region and in the United States. We will begin by considering the value of crop wild relatives and landraces in the face of a growing human population and global climate change. Next, we will probe the North American landscape which is home to many crop wild relatives and landraces. Then we will zoom in to focus on conservation efforts to characterize and protect the charismatic crop wild relatives and landraces of the southwest region. Finally, we will synthesize the themes of this symposium in a panel discussion on these efforts. Relevance: Crop wild relatives and landraces are an excellent model for many botanical disciplines. To study and conserve these important resources, we need to draw from several areas of botany, including systematics, physiology, conservation, evolution, population genetics, and ethnobotany to name a few. BOTANY 2019 is a particularly appropriate venue for this symposium in that it is in a major center of North American crop wild relative diversity and has played a major role in the selection and distribution of some of our most notable crops. Drawing from the rich resources within this area (native seeds/SEARCH, Sonoran Desert Botanic Garden, USDA, etc.), we will be in a unique position to connect to this region and the people working there.

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1 - Botany & Plant Sciences, Unversity Of California, Riverside, CA, 92521, United States
2 - Saint Louis University, Biology Department, 1008 S. Spring Ave, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, United States
3 -

crop wild relatives

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SYM4, Crop Wild Relatives and Land Races: the Sky Islands of Southwest North American Agriculture
Location: San Luis 1/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: SYM4SUM
Abstract ID:38
Candidate for Awards:None

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