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Crop Science Abstract -

Assessing User Perceptions of Genetic Resource Collections in Crucifer Crops


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 36 No. 4, p. 831-838
    Received: July 17, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): mcferson@cornell.edu
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  1. James R. McFerson ,
  2. Warren F. Lamboy and
  3. Stephen Kresovich
  1. USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Cornell Univ., Geneva, NY 14456-0462



Germplasm collections worldwide are increasing in both size and quality, but quantitative data on user needs and their perceptions of collection management are limited. Such information would enable more effective planning and management by collection curators. In 1991, we surveyed and analyzed the opinions of 47 scientists working with crucifer crops, including oilseed Brassica napus L. and B. rapa L., vegetable coles [B. oleracea subsp. italica (broccoli), B. oleracea subsp. capitata L. (cabbage), B. rapa subsp. pekinensis Lour. (Chinese cabbage), etc.], and wild and weedy relatives. Survey respondents were located in 19 countries and represented a broad range of institutional affiliations, professional interests, educational backgrounds, and research programs. Significant differences occurred among respondents’ opinions on various activities (acquisition, preservation and distribution, documentation, and research). Respondents utilized genetic resources from all gene pool categories, obtained them from an array of sources, and expected to increase their use about 30% by 1994. Nearly 80% of respondents maintained a germplasm collection for their own use. They estimated ex situ genebanks held <50% of total genetic diversity of crucifers and were dissatisfied with collection documentation. About 80% used biotechnological techniques and projected an increased use of gene pools comprising F1 fertile relatives, F1 semi-sterile and sterile related species, and genetic stocks. Respondents felt that research that focused on identification and transfer of new and useful traits would enhance crucifer germplasm collections. Our survey results provided a current, systematic assessment of germplasm users’ expectations, but curators must have the scientific and managerial skills to reconcile those expectations with limited resources.

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