Preston, Jennifer (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
A collection of heritage variety accessions were characterised using Amplified Fragment length Polymorphisms (AFLPs) (200 accessions ) and multivariate analysis of morphological characters (366 accessions); key features of interest for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources were the identification of diversity within and between accessions. Motivations and practices of heritage variety growers were explored using questionnaires.
Heritage varieties are herein defined as traditional crop varieties that have a historical origin of over 40 years, are non-hybrid and non-GMO and are of cultural/heritage value to their users; they are part of the suite of plant genetic resources currently utilised by growers and of potential use to plant breeders in the future.
A large range of morphological and genetic diversity was present between accessions in all crops; in addition, diversity was found within accessions, particularly in Vicia faba, Daucus carota and Cucumis sativum. Comparisons between data sets were made for diversity, relationships, comparisons with commercial standards and identifying potential duplicates. The synthesis of both data sets highlighted the three potential duplicates for further investigation by HSL (all in Pisum sativum).
The findings highlight the importance of heritage varieties and the Heritage Seed Library, both culturally and in terms of conservation for present and future use.
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