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Abstract Detail


Frawley, Emma [1], Micke, Brooke [2], Claudia, Ciotir [3], Miller, Allison [1].

Traditional Knowledge for Modern Agriculture: The Ethnobotany of Elymus.

Ethnobotanical records provide vital, yet underutilized, information on plant diversity, use, distribution, form, and function. As a primary source, they offer a direct window into the environmental and traditional history of a region through its local flora. In particular, they allow us to explore the utilization of native crop progenitors and other wild relatives, many of which serve as important sources of genetic and phenotypic diversity in modern agriculture. Further, the field of ethnobotany has long served as a starting point for domestication and breeding efforts of new crop plants. The present study is an ethnobotanical survey of the perennial grass genus Elymus, a close relative of wheat, barely, and rye. This survey assesses past uses of Elymus species, highlights use trends between Native Americans, identifies taxa that may be of value for pre-breeding and de novo domestication programs, and strengthens the case for how ethnobotany can contribute to agricultural development. Elymus is a genus of interest for these purposes because of inherent functional traits (i.e. self-pollination, inflorescence structure), its value as a perennial to contribute to ecologically intense agriculture, and its prevalent use among Native Americans.

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1 - Saint Louis University/Danforth Plant Science Center, Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, Macelwane Hall, St. Louis, MO , 63110, USA
2 - Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Almas Allé 8 , 750 07, Uppsala, SWE
3 - Missouri Botanical Garden, 4434 Shaw Ave, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA

traditional knowledge

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ETH1, Ethnobotany
Location: San Luis 2/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: ETH1005
Abstract ID:481
Candidate for Awards:None

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