, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 429-443
Date: 10 Mar 2009

Genetic resources of Pistacia vera L. in Central Asia

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Abstract

Pistacia vera L. is grown as an economically valuable crop in a number of semi-arid regions worldwide. However, the species remains quite underutilized when considering its wide native range and inherent genetic diversity. Central Asia represents a large and diverse region where a wealth of P. vera genetic resources exists. Much of this region, which is the center of diversity and/or the center of origin of many important crops, has been inaccessible to the western world for centuries. Since the break up of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has become increasingly open and opportunities for reciprocal germplasm exchange and scientific collaborations are growing. To bring increased attention to the valuable P. vera genetic resources endemic to this region, and to promote its better utilization, management, and preservation, a description and history of the species from a Central Asian perspective, along with recent and ongoing activities, are discussed here.