, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 655-681
Date: 15 Jun 2011

Inventory of related wild species of priority crops in Venezuela

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Abstract

A prerequisite in any conservation programme of Plant Genetic Resources is estimation of diversity. The inventory of wild and naturalized relatives of priority crops in Venezuela (CWR) is based on the main Catalogues of Flora in the country, selecting taxa closely related to crops, according to the concepts of “gene pool” and “taxonomic group”. We included 47 genera, 217 species and 228 taxa belonging to 28 plant families. Among them, those with higher richness are: Fabaceae, Solanaceae, Araceae, Lauraceae, Dioscoreaceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae and Myrtaceae. Genera with a higher number of species are Xanthosoma, Persea, Dioscorea, Prunus, Psidium, Phaseolus, Solanum, Vigna, Capsicum, Manihot, Theobroma, Ipomoea and Oryza. A total of 26 endemic species are found, which belong to genera Xanthosoma, Persea, Dioscorea, Prunus and Manihot. The primary gene pool of crops include native species from genera such as Manihot, Solanum (Section Petota), Lycopersicon, Ananas, Capsicum, Dioscorea, Xanthosoma, Phaseolus, Theobroma, Ipomoea, Gossypium, Arracacia and Psidium. Genera with native species weakly related to crops are Saccharum, Persea, Ipomoea, Prunus, Vigna, Solanum (Section Melongena) and Daucus. Crop genera without native species in Venezuela are Allium, Musa, Brassica, Spinacia, Helianthus, Pisum, Lactuca, Citrus, Elaeis, Beta, Glycine and Triticum. Only a few taxa have already been evaluated according to the IUCN criteria, and Venezuelan accessions of crop wild relatives in national and international genebanks are very scarce.