Economic Botany

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 56–77 | Cite as

Morphological and phenological comparisons of two Hopi maize varieties conserved in situ and ex situ

  • Daniela Soleri
  • Steven E. Smith


Over the last twenty-five years, crop genetic resources (CGR) have been preserved in genebanks around the world for use by formal plant breeders. Recently conservation of folk crop varieties for direct use by the farmer-breeders of traditional agricultural communities has been suggested as another purpose for CGR conservation. While both in and ex situ CGR conservation programs have been proposed to meet the needs of formal plant breeders and farming communities, the needs and goals of the two groups are different. Formal breeders seek maximum allelic diversity while farmer-breeders are interested in both diversity and population structure that provide local adaptation. Based on the morphological and phenological data analyzed for this study of two Hopi maize varieties conserved in and ex situ, it appears that both genetic shift and genetic drift have occurred ex situ, and that populations conserved ex situ are different from those maintained in situ. These findings suggest that CGR conservation strategies must be re-evaluated in light of the specific conservation goals that are sought.

Key words

crop genetic resources in situ and ex situ conservation Zea mays Hopi Native Americans 

Comparaciones morfologicas y fenologicas de dos variedades de mae Hopi conservadas in situ y ex situ


Durante los pasados veinticinco años, los recursos geneticos agricolas (RGA) han sido preservados en bancos de germoplasma alrededor del mundo para su uso por fitomejadores formates. Recientamente, la conservacion de variedades crillolaspara su uso directo por agricultores-fitomejsdores de las comunidades agricolas tradicionales se ha sugerido como otro de los propositos para la conservacion de recursos geneticos. Mientras que los programas de conservacion de RGA in situ y ex situ han sido propuestos para satisfacer las necesidades de fitomejoradores formales y cominidades agricolas, las necesidades y objetivos de los dos grupos son diferentes. Los fitomejoradores formales buscan la maxima diversidad genetica, mientras que los agricultores-fitomejoradores estan interesados en diversidad y estructura poblacionalque permita mayor adaptacion local. En bas a datos morfologicos y fenologicos analizados en este estudio de dos variedades de maiz Hopi conservadas in situ y ex situ, al parecer, la conservacion ex situ ha producido seleccion natural (genetic shift) y perdida aleatoria de diversidad (genetic drift), asimismo, parece que la poblaciones conservadas ex situ difieren de las conservadas in situ. Estos resultados sugieren que las estrategias para las conservacion de RGA deben ser reevaluadas conforme a los propositos especificos de conservacion.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Soleri
    • 1
  • Steven E. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Office of Arid Land Studies, College of AgricultureUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences, College of AgricultureUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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