Abstract Detail

Enriching basic and applied botany through multi-stakeholder collaborations

Chapman, Mark [1].

Seedbanks and herbaria for DNA and other data: understanding underutilised crops for food security.

In this talk I will be describing how my research into the origins and diversity of underutilised crops has been enriched through interactions with seedbanks, herbaria, and associated experts.
Determining crop origins is of interest in both basic and applied surroundings. First, doing this is paramount to safeguard future food security through identifying the alleles, genes and species required to generate the food we rely on, and will have to grow and harvest in a changing and overpopulated world. Second, understanding how the genes and traits of wild, weedy and often unpalatable species have been artificially selected by humans serves as a model to understand evolution.
The crops we rely on for the majority of our food (e.g. rice, wheat, corn) have been, and continue to be, well-studied, however several of these crops cannot be bred fast enough to keep up with climate change. Looking more broadly, hundreds of species are used as food worldwide, meaning that we already know of crops that can survive extreme temperatures and droughts. Yet we do not know much about these underutilised crops. Identifying close relatives and understanding trait variation is paramount to improve these crops and move toward higher yields in diverse environments.
I will discuss how this has led to several interesting and exciting findings and opened the way for follow-up research. First, the dual origin of lablab bean; second, an elusive progenitor of winged bean, and finally, determining the relationship between two forage legumes. In all these studies the biological interpretation of the unusual findings had been aided by looking at herbarium samples and talking to the experts, making these relationships with other stakeholders vital for streamlining and prioritising future research towards food security.

1 - University Of Southampton, Biological Sciences, Highfield Campus, Southampton, HAM, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom

crop wild relatives
underutilised crops
food security.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL03, Enriching basic and applied botany through multi-stakeholder collaborations
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: COL03005
Abstract ID:557
Candidate for Awards:None

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