Special Issue "Conservation and Characterization of Vegetable Crop Biodiversity"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Robert Jarret
Guest Editor
Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit Research Horticulturist, 1109 Experiment st griffin, GA 30223, USA
Interests: Biodiversity; genetic resources; genetics/genomics; genebank/collection management
Dr. Maarten Van Zonneveld
Guest Editor
World Vegetable Center, Tainan 70101,Taiwan
Interests: Biodiversity; genetic resources; genetics/genomics; genebank/collection management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Characterization of vegetable genetic resources takes many forms. The goals of such studies are often crop- or taxon-specific and tailored to provide information on the presence and/or the range of unique, and typically agriculturally important, characteristics within a defined set of plant materials. The procedures used to accomplish such goals may be quite simple (i.e., collection of descriptor data on fruit maturity or color) or more technically complex (i.e., using next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches to characterize collections for their diversity or to identify a core collection). Similarly, approaches applied for the conservation of vegetable crops germplasm are also crop- and taxon-specific and include, for example, defining practices facilitating field or greenhouse production of seed, the development and use of specialized in vitro or cryogenic procedures for longer-term maintenance or pathogen elimination, and the use of global positioning system (GPS) data to locate/conserve ecologically and/or taxonomically unique plant materials, among many others. This Special Issue invites reports of recent efforts to conserve and characterize vegetable crops germplasm. Relevant articles would include (but are not limited to):

  • Use of novel approaches or technologies to improve the efficiency of, or reduce the resources associated with, seed production of vegetable crops germplasm and/or their wild relatives,
  • Use of emerging technologies, such as high-throughput phenotyping or the use of robotics, to capture characterization data in the field or greenhouse,
  • Applications of artificial intelligence in efforts characterize or conserve vegetable crops germplasm,
  • Use of molecular/NGS approaches to characterize collections or populations of vegetable crops genetic resources,
  • Studies characterizing vegetable crops germplasm collections using traditional (morphological data) approaches,
  • Studies and technologies used to identify the occurrence and distribution of vegetable crop species and their wild relatives, and
  • Selection of vegetable crop core collections.

Prof. Dr. Robert Jarret
Dr. Maarten Van Zonneveld
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 1000 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.


  • germplasm
  • genetic resources
  • genebank
  • biodiversity
  • vegetable
  • characterization
  • conservation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Evaluation of loofah lines for resistance to Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus, downy mildew, and key horticultural traits
Authors: Narinder P.S. Dhillon1*, Somchit Pruangwitayakun1, Monpapa Natheung1, Suyuporn Lertlam1, Robert L. Jarret2
Affiliation: 1World Vegetable Center, East and Southeast Asia, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand. 2U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, 1109 Experiment St., Griffin, GA 30223, USA.
Abstract: Two loofah (Luffa) species, including the ridge gourd [Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb.] and the sponge gourd [L. cylindrica (L.) M. Roem. - syn. aegyptiaca], are economically and nutritionally important cucurbitaceous vegetables in Asia grown chiefly by smallholder farmers. However, the occurrence of Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) and downy mildew (DM) (Pesudoperonospora cubensis) are important biotic constraints to loofah production throughout Asia. Loofah landrace-derived breeding lines, developed at the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) were evaluated at the WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia Research and Training Station based in Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Thailand – where natural epidemics of both ToLCNDV and DM regularly occur. Lines were also evaluated for other commercially important horticultural traits such as days to 50% flowering of staminate and pistillate flowers, fruit color, fruit bitterness, and market segment classification. Results of these evaluations and their breeding implications will be discussed.

Title: LabFieldTM as a Tool for Screening Germplasm for Climate Change
Authors: Gregory E. Welbaum and Stephanie R. Welbaum
Affiliation: School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA USA
Abstract: Vegetables have specific climatic requirements with relatively narrow temperature and moisture optima for best production. Global climate change threatens food crop production. Identifying germplasm with greater environmental adaptability will help sustain global vegetable production. LabFieldTM tables were developed to screen plant growth in soil maintained at constant temperature or along a gradient of temperatures in a laboratory. The LabFieldTM eliminates using multiple growth chambers to test the same broad range of soil environments. LabFieldTM tables can be configured with micro-irrigation and light sources to screen germplasm for differences in drought stress as well.

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