Special Issue "Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Massimiliano Renna

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
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Interests: nutritional and sensorial evaluation of vegetables; biofortification of vegetables; food processing of vegetable products; soilless cultivation technique; microgreens production; exploitation of underutilized crop and wild edible plants
Guest Editor
Prof. Pietro Santamaria

Department of Agricultural end Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Amendola 165/A, 70126, Bari, Italy
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: vegetable crops; nitrogen fertilization management for vegetables; nitrate; soilless culture; microgreens; agrobiodiversity of vegetable crops; vegetable quality; plant nutrition
Guest Editor
Dr. Angelo Signore

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: biofortification of vegetables; soilless cultivation technique; microgreens production; exploitation of underutilized crop and wild edible plants; light spectrum effect on leafy vegetables; plant nutrition; informatic tools related to (agro)biodiversity
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Fabiano Montesano

Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council, Italy
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Interests: greenhouse cultivation techniques; soilless cultivation techniques; sensor-based fertigation management in horticulture; improvement of water use efficiency in horticulture; mineral plant nutrition; biofortification of vegetables
Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Gonnella

Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: morphological and nutritional evaluation of agro-biodiversity; market and nutritional quality of vegetable crops; plant nutrition; nitrate content; greenhouse and soilless cultivation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Intensive agriculture has generally resulted in higher productivity, but also in a trend towards decreasing levels of agro-biodiversity, which preservation represents a key-point to assure adaptability and resilience of agro-ecosystems to the global challenge to produce more and better food in a sustainable way. Many components of agro-biodiversity would not survive without the human interference, but human choices may also represent a threat for the agro-biodiversity preservation.

The biodiversity in vegetable crops is composed by the genetic diversity, as species diversity (interspecific diversity) and as diversity of genes within a species (intraspecific diversity) referring to the vegetable grown varieties, and by the diversity of agro-ecosystems (agro-biodiversity). Intraspecific diversity is very ample in vegetable crops and is not reflected, at least not to the same extent, in other groups of crops. The labor operated by farmers over centuries of selection has led to the creation of a plurality of local varieties, following domestication of cultivated forms, and wide agro-biodiversity, a precious heritage both from a genetic and a cultural-historical point of view. Therefore, the agro-biodiversity related to vegetable crops has assumed very articulated connotations. It is also important to specify that a “local variety” (also called: landrace, farmer’s variety, folk variety) is a population of a seed or vegetative-propagated crop characterized by greater or lesser genetic variation, which is however well identifiable and which usually has a local name.

In facing the challenges of the modern vegetable growing sector, the many expressions of vegetable biodiversity are a key source for genetic improvement programs, to produce innovative vegetables with improved qualitative characteristics (crop diversification and new crops), to realize more environmentally sustainable agro-systems, to cope with issues of climate change, to find better adaptation to marginal soil conditions (salinity, atmospheric pollutants, etc.), not forgetting the need to recover and maintain links with history and folk traditions.

Unfortunately, the genetic diversity of vegetable crops in many world regions has been eroded, due to several factors such as abandonment of rural areas, ageing of the farming population, failure to pass information down the generations (leading to loss of knowledge and historical memory), which can vary in relation to the type of genetic resource and location.

In this view, it is important to create a biodiversity network to promote the exchange of information between stakeholders to facilitate the diffusion and protection of these genetic resources by: collecting and preserving memories and knowledge of biodiversity in vegetable crops; retrieving and identifying such landraces within the territory; characterizing, cataloguing and preserving them. On the other hand, it must be underlined that the conservation of genetic biodiversity must be based not only on institutional and private plant breeders and seed banks, but mainly on the vast number of growers who continuously select, improve, and use vegetable biodiversity at the local scale. This availability of in situ biodiversity may be able to meet not only the requirements of breeders but also the needs of specific niche markets, such as those in which there is high demand for local products grown with environmentally-friendly farming techniques.

This Special Issue intends to cover the state-of-the-art, recent progress and perspectives in different aspects related to the biodiversity of vegetable crops. All types of manuscripts (original research, reviews, short communications, letter to editor and discussion) are welcome.

Articles may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Ethnobotany of local variety and wild edible plants
  • Domestication and crop evolution
  • Morphological, physiological, biochemical and genetic analysis
  • Gene bank management
  • Reports of collecting missions
  • Project update regarding in situ conservation
  • Quality evaluation and exploitation
  • Ecological, social and economic implications of agro-biodiversity preservation/decline
  • Policies

Dr. Massimiliano Renna
Prof. Pietro Santamaria
Dr. Angelo Signore
Dr. Francesco Fabiano Montesano
Dr. Maria Gonnella
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Agro-biodiversity
  • Wild edible plants
  • Neglected and underutilized crop
  • Local varieties
  • Intraspecific diversity
  • Gene pool
  • Polymorphism
  • Germoplasm
  • Phenotyping
  • Mapping
  • Seed savers
  • Descriptors
  • Quality
  • Exploitation
  • History
  • Traditions

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Diversity of Cropping Patterns and Factors Affecting Homegarden Cultivation in Kiboguwa on the Eastern Slopes of the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090141
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated what kind of diversities of cropping patterns observed in home gardens distributed on the eastern slopes of the Uluguru Mountains in central Tanzania, and how the diversity come into occurred. The major focus included the differences in ecological environment due
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This study investigated what kind of diversities of cropping patterns observed in home gardens distributed on the eastern slopes of the Uluguru Mountains in central Tanzania, and how the diversity come into occurred. The major focus included the differences in ecological environment due to elevation, the impacts of the Ujamaa policy, and the characteristics of household members. Participatory observation with a one year stay in the study village was conducted to collect comprehensive information and to detect specific factors about formation of diversity cropping patterns of homegardens. The features of cropping patterns of the homegardens were assessed in an area distributed at altitudes of 650–1200 m. Many of the tree crops in this village originated from outside regions around the period of Tanzanian independence, and their cultivation spread throughout the village after the implementation of the Ujamaa policy. At present, village districts with many distributed homegardens with numerous tree crops are those that were confiscated from clans by the village government at the time of the Ujamaa policy and then redistributed to individuals. Cultivation of trees crops was very few at altitude of 900 m or more, because of cultivation characteristics of tree crops in this village were suitable for low altitude. In addition, since homegardens are considered to be abandoned for one generation only, their cropping patterns tended to easily reflect the ages and preferences of the members of the households living on them. The cropping patterns of the homegardens differed remarkably even between neighboring households owing to the cumulative effects of these multiple factors. Analysis using an inductive method—considering the background against which the phenomenon becomes evident after collecting the information from the target area in this manner—is thought to lead to an essential understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Patterns of Genetic Diversity and Implications for In Situ Conservation of Wild Celery (Apium graveolens L. ssp. graveolens)
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090129
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
In Germany, the wild ancestor (Apium graveolens L. ssp. graveolens) of celery and celeriac is threatened by genetic erosion. Seventy-eight potentially suitable genetic reserve sites representing differing ecogeographic units were assessed with regard to the conservation status of the populations. At
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In Germany, the wild ancestor (Apium graveolens L. ssp. graveolens) of celery and celeriac is threatened by genetic erosion. Seventy-eight potentially suitable genetic reserve sites representing differing ecogeographic units were assessed with regard to the conservation status of the populations. At 27 of the 78 sites, 30 individual plants were sampled and genetically analyzed with 16 polymorphic microsatellite makers. The Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components (DAPC) was applied to identify clusters of genetically similar individuals. In most cases (25 out of 27 occurrences) individuals clustered into groups according to their sampling site. Next to three clearly separated occurrences (AgG, AgUW, AgFEH) two large groups of inland and Baltic Sea coast occurrences, respectively, were recognized. Occurrences from the coastal part of the distribution area were interspersed into the group of inland occurrences and vice versa. The genetic distribution pattern is therefore complex. The complementary compositional genetic differentiation Δj was calculated to identify the Most Appropriate Wild Populations (MAWP) for the establishment of genetic reserves. Altogether 15 sites are recommended to form a genetic reserve network. This organisational structure appears suitable for promoting the in situ conservation of intraspecific genetic diversity and the species’ adaptability. As seed samples of each MAWP will be stored in a genebank, the network would likewise contribute to the long-term ex situ conservation of genetic resources for plant breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle BiodiverSO: A Case Study of Integrated Project to Preserve the Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops in Puglia (Southern Italy)
Agriculture 2018, 8(8), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8080128
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
Puglia region is particularly rich in agro-biodiversity, representing an example of how local vegetables varieties can still strongly interact with modern horticulture. Unfortunately, the genetic diversity of vegetable crops in this region has been eroded, due to several factors such as abandonment of
[...] Read more.
Puglia region is particularly rich in agro-biodiversity, representing an example of how local vegetables varieties can still strongly interact with modern horticulture. Unfortunately, the genetic diversity of vegetable crops in this region has been eroded, due to several factors such as abandonment of rural areas, ageing of the farming population, and failure to pass information down the generations. This article summarizes the objectives, methodological approach and results of the project “Biodiversity of the Puglia’s vegetable crops (BiodiverSO)”, an integrated project funded by Puglia Region Administration under the 2007–2013 and 2014–2020 Rural Development Program (RDP). Results were reported for each of the eight activities of the project. Moreover, the Polignano carrot (a local variety of Daucus carota L.) was described as a case study, since several tasks have been performed within all eight project activities with the aim of verifying the effectiveness of these actions in terms of safeguarding for this genetic resource strongly linked with local traditions. BiodiverSO is an example of protection and recovery of vegetables at risk of genetic erosion that could help to identify and valorize much of the Puglia’s plant germplasm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Issues and Prospects for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Cultivated Vegetable Diversity for More Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070112
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
Traditional vegetables are key assets for supporting more nutrition-sensitive agriculture under climate change as many have lower water requirements, adaptation to poor quality soils, higher resistance to pests and diseases, and higher nutritional values as compared to global vegetables. The effective use of
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Traditional vegetables are key assets for supporting more nutrition-sensitive agriculture under climate change as many have lower water requirements, adaptation to poor quality soils, higher resistance to pests and diseases, and higher nutritional values as compared to global vegetables. The effective use of traditional vegetables can be challenged however by lack of information and poor conservation status. This study reviewed the uses, growth forms and geographic origins of cultivated vegetables worldwide and the levels of research, ex situ conservation, and documentation they have received in order to identify gaps and priorities for supporting more effective use of global vegetable diversity. A total of 1097 vegetables were identified in a review of the Mansfeld Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants, including species used for leaves (n = 495), multiple vegetative parts (n = 227), roots (n = 204), fruits or seeds (n = 90), and other parts like flowers, inflorescences, and stems (n = 81). Root vegetables have received significantly less research attention than other types of vegetable. Therophytes (annuals) have received significantly more attention from research and conservation efforts than vegetables with other growth forms, while vegetables originating in Africa (n = 406) and the Asian-Pacific region (n = 165) are notably neglected. Documentation for most vegetable species is poor and the conservation of many vegetables is largely realized on farm through continued use. Supportive policies are needed to advance research, conservation, and documentation of neglected vegetable species to protect and further their role in nutrition-sensitive agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Conservation of Crop Genetic Resources in Italy with a Focus on Vegetables and a Case Study of a Neglected Race of Brassica Oleracea
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070105
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
This study attempts, above all, to provide a summary, on a strictly scientific basis, about the strategies of conservation of autochthonous agrobiodiversity followed in Italy. A special focus is dedicated to vegetables and, therefore, could represent a contribution to improve the national strategy
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This study attempts, above all, to provide a summary, on a strictly scientific basis, about the strategies of conservation of autochthonous agrobiodiversity followed in Italy. A special focus is dedicated to vegetables and, therefore, could represent a contribution to improve the national strategy for the safeguarding of its agrobiodiversity in general. The paper offers also an outlook on the most critical factors of ex situ conservation and actions which need to be taken. Some examples of ‘novel’ recovered neglected crops are also given. Finally a case study is proposed on ‘Mugnolicchio’, a neglected race of Brassica oleracea L., cultivated in Altamura (Ba) in southern Italy, that might be considered as an early step in the evolution of broccoli (B. oleracea L. var. italica Plenck) like ‘Mugnoli’ another neglected race described from Salento (Apulia). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Properties in Colored Tiggiano Carrots
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070102
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
The carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important vegetable source of bioactive compounds in the human diet. In the Apulia region (Southern Italy), local farmers have domesticated colored landraces of carrots over the years, strictly related to local cults and traditions. Amongst
[...] Read more.
The carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important vegetable source of bioactive compounds in the human diet. In the Apulia region (Southern Italy), local farmers have domesticated colored landraces of carrots over the years, strictly related to local cults and traditions. Amongst these, an important landrace is the carrot of Saint Ippazio or the Tiggiano carrot. In the present study, we evaluated the content of carotenoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, sugars, organic acids, and antioxidant activity in Tiggiano carrots. Our results indicated that yellow-purple carrots have the highest levels of bioactive compounds, together with the highest antioxidant capacity compared to the yellow and cultivated orange varieties. These data point out the nutritional value of purple Tiggiano carrots and may contribute to the valorization of this typical landrace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Cultivation of Potted Sea Fennel, an Emerging Mediterranean Halophyte, Using a Renewable Seaweed-Based Material as a Peat Substitute
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070096
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), an emerging halophyte species, represents a nutritious and refined food product. In this study, the effect on yield and quality of potted sea fennel grown on three posidonia (Podisonia oceanica (L.) Delile)-based composts (a municipal organic
[...] Read more.
Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), an emerging halophyte species, represents a nutritious and refined food product. In this study, the effect on yield and quality of potted sea fennel grown on three posidonia (Podisonia oceanica (L.) Delile)-based composts (a municipal organic solid waste compost, a sewage sludge compost and a green compost) and a peat-based substrate was analyzed. Composts were used both pure and mixed with peat at a dose of 50% on a volume basis. We hypothesized that the halophytic nature of this plant might overcome the limitations of high-salinity compost-based growing media. The growth parameters, color traits and trace metals content (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) of the edible parts were compared. Independently of the substrates, the average total and edible yields were 51 and 30 g plant−1, respectively, while the average waste portion was about 41%. The use of posidonia-based compost did not affect the color traits of sea fennel plants as compared with samples grown on the commercial peat-based substrate. In general, potted sea fennel grown on both posidonia-based composts and commercial peat-based substrate appeared a good source of essential micronutrients. Only a weak reduction of Fe and Mn concentrations was observed in plants grown on posidonia-based composts, especially when used at the highest dose. Independently of the growing medium, the content of potentially hazardous trace elements (Cd and Pb) in the edible parts of sea fennel was always below the maximum admissible limits fixed by the European legislation. Results indicate that posidonia-based composts can be used as a sustainable peat substitute for the formulation of soilless mixtures to grow potted sea fennel plants, even up to a complete peat replacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Quality and Nutritional Evaluation of Regina Tomato, a Traditional Long-Storage Landrace of Puglia (Southern Italy)
Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060083
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Regina tomato, a locally cultivated Italian landrace, is listed as an item in the ‘List of Traditional Agri-Food Products’ of the Italian Department for Agriculture and itemised as ‘Slow Food presidium’ by the Slow Food Foundation. It is classified as a long-storage tomato
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Regina tomato, a locally cultivated Italian landrace, is listed as an item in the ‘List of Traditional Agri-Food Products’ of the Italian Department for Agriculture and itemised as ‘Slow Food presidium’ by the Slow Food Foundation. It is classified as a long-storage tomato since it can be preserved for several months after harvest thanks to its thick and coriaceous skin. Three ecotypes were investigated for main physical and chemical traits both at harvest and after three months of storage. Experimental results indicate that this tomato landrace has a qualitative profile characterized by high concentrations of tocopherols, lycopene and ascorbic acid (maximum 28.6 and 53.7 mg/kg fresh weight, FW, and 0.28 mg/g FW, respectively) even after a long storage time, together with lower average Total Soluble Solids. The initial and post-storage contents of the bioactive compounds changed at a different rate in each ecotype (i.e., in Monopoli Regina tomato the highest content of α-Tocopherol, thereafter reduced to the same level of the other two ecotypes). These results indicate unique and unmistakable features of this long-storage tomato, closely linked to the geographic origin area that include both natural (available technical inputs) and human (specific cultural practices) factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle The Deterioration of Morocco’s Vegetable Crop Genetic Diversity: An Analysis of the Souss-Massa Region
Agriculture 2018, 8(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8040049
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
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Abstract
Crop domestication and breeding efforts during the last half-century in developed countries has significantly reduced the genetic diversity in all major vegetable crops grown throughout the world. This includes developing countries such as Morocco, in which more than 90% of all farms are
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Crop domestication and breeding efforts during the last half-century in developed countries has significantly reduced the genetic diversity in all major vegetable crops grown throughout the world. This includes developing countries such as Morocco, in which more than 90% of all farms are less than 10 ha in size, which are generally maintained by subsistence farmers who try to maximize crop and animal productivity on a limited land area. Near Agadir, in the remote Anti-Atlas mountain areas of the Souss-Massa region, many small landowner vegetable growers are known to still utilize crop populations (landraces). Thus, an assessment of the current status of vegetable landraces was made in this mountainous region of Southwestern Morocco during 2014. This assessment indicated that a significant loss of vegetable crop landraces has occurred in the last 30 years in this region of Morocco. Although many vegetable crops are still maintained as landrace populations by small subsistence farmers in remote areas in the Souss-Massa region, only 31% of these farmers cultivated landraces and saved seed in the villages assessed, with the average farmer age cultivating landraces being 52 years old. Moreover, the approximated loss of vegetable crop landraces over the last 30 years was an astounding 80 to 90%. Vegetable crops notably lost during this time period included carrot (Daucus carota), fava beans (Vicia faba), melon (Cucumis melo), pea (Pisum sativum), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicon). The most significant loss was tomato as no landraces of this crop were found in this region. The vegetable crop landraces that are still widely grown included carrot, melon, onion (Allium cepa), turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapa), and watermelon, while limited amounts of eggplant (Solanum melongea), fava bean, pea, pepper (Capsicum annuum), and pumpkin (Cucurbita moshata and C. maxima) were found. This recent genetic deterioration will have a profound influence on future Moroccan agricultural productivity, as the genetic diversity within these landraces may be the only resource available to allow these smaller subsistence farmers to cope with changing environmental conditions for the optimization of crop production in their harsh climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Protocol for Producing Virus-Free Artichoke Genetic Resources for Conservation, Breeding, and Production
Agriculture 2018, 8(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8030036
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The potential of the globe artichoke biodiversity in the Mediterranean area is enormous but at risk of genetic erosion because only a limited number of varieties are vegetatively propagated and grown. In Apulia (southern Italy), the Regional Government launched specific actions to rescue
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The potential of the globe artichoke biodiversity in the Mediterranean area is enormous but at risk of genetic erosion because only a limited number of varieties are vegetatively propagated and grown. In Apulia (southern Italy), the Regional Government launched specific actions to rescue and preserve biodiversity of woody and vegetable crops in the framework of the Rural Development Program. Many globe artichoke ecotypes have remained neglected and unnoticed for a long time and have been progressively eroded by several causes, which include a poor phytosanitary status. Sanitation of such ecotypes from infections of vascular fungi and viruses may be a solution for their ex situ conservation and multiplication in nursery plants in conformity to the current EU Directives 93/61/CEE and 93/62/CEE that enforce nursery productions of virus-free and true-to-type certified stocks. Five Apulian ecotypes, Bianco di Taranto, Francesina, Locale di Mola, Verde di Putignano and Violetto di Putignano, were sanitized from artichoke Italian latent virus (AILV), artichoke latent virus (ArLV) and tomato infectious chlorosis virus (TICV) by meristem-tip culture and in vitro thermotherapy through a limited number of subcultures to reduce the risk of “pastel variants” induction of and loss of earliness. A total of 25 virus-free primary sources were obtained and conserved ex situ in a nursery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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