Next Article in Journal
Diversity-Carbon Flux Relationships in a Northwest Forest
Previous Article in Journal
Phyllopshere Bacterial Community Structure of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) as Affected by Cultivar and Environmental Conditions at Time of Harvest
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 1-32; doi:10.3390/d4010001
Article

Social Organization of Crop Genetic Diversity. The G × E × S Interaction Model

1,*  and 2
Received: 25 October 2011 / Revised: 28 November 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 21 December 2011
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3832 KB, uploaded 21 December 2011]   |   Browse Figures

Abstract

A better knowledge of factors organizing crop genetic diversity in situ increases the efficiency of diversity analyses and conservation strategies, and requires collaboration between social and biological disciplines. Four areas of anthropology may contribute to our understanding of the impact of social factors on crop diversity: ethnobotany, cultural, cognitive and social anthropology. So far, most collaborative studies have been based on ethnobotanical methods, focusing on farmers’ individual motivations and actions, and overlooking the effects of farmer’s social organization per se. After reviewing common shortcomings in studies on sorghum and maize, this article analyzes how social anthropology, through the analysis of intermarriage, residence and seed inheritance practices, can contribute to studies on crop genetic diversity in situ. Crop varieties are thus considered social objects and socially based sampling strategies can be developed. Such an approach is justified because seed exchange is built upon trust and as such seed systems are embedded in a pre-existing social structure and centripetally oriented as a function of farmers’ social identity. The strong analogy between farmers’ cultural differentiation and crop genetic differentiation, both submitted to the same vertical transmission processes, allows proposing a common methodological framework for social anthropology and crop population genetics, where the classical interaction between genetic and environmental factors, G × E, is replaced by a three-way interaction G × E × S, where “S” stands for the social differentiation factors.
Keywords: crop genetic resources; cultural transmission; in situ conservation; interdisciplinary approach; maize; seed exchange; social differentiation; social network; sorghum crop genetic resources; cultural transmission; in situ conservation; interdisciplinary approach; maize; seed exchange; social differentiation; social network; sorghum
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote
MDPI and ACS Style

Leclerc, C.; Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge, G. Social Organization of Crop Genetic Diversity. The G × E × S Interaction Model. Diversity 2012, 4, 1-32.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

Comments

Citing Articles

[Return to top]
Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert