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Book: International Germplasm Transfer: Past and Present
Published by: Crop Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy



  1.  p. 47-60
    CSSA Special Publication 23.
    International Germplasm Transfer: Past and Present

    Ronny R. Duncan (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-602-1


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Horticultural Crop Germplasm: 500 Years of Exchange

  1. Calvin R. Sperling (deceased) and
  2. David E. Williams
  1. USDA ARS National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland



The 500th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World is reason to reflect on the significance of horticultural crop germplasm exchanged between the Old and New worlds. Fruit, nut, and vegetable crop germplasm exchanged between the two hemispheres has forever changed the agriculture and diet of both hemispheres. Introduced crops have become established and form commercial bases far from their centers of origin. Many legume crops for food consumption, however, are still most important in the hemispheres where they originated. The exchange of Allium, Brassica, Citrus, Cucurbita, Lycopersicon, Musa, Phaseolus, Prunus, and Vitis have had the greatest horticultural significance. Examples are presented of horticultural crops exchanged and the rise or fall of their importance following their transfer to another hemisphere. Exchanges continue today, but the present focus is on transfer of germplasm for specific traits, rather than on species or adapted cultivars. A list of 307 plant species actually consumed by the first author during 1992 is included.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 1995. Copyright © 1995 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Crop Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA