Conservation and use of crop wild relatives in Malawi

Khaki Mponya, Nolipher (2021). Conservation and use of crop wild relatives in Malawi. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The increase in global population comes along with increased demand for food supply and this brings in the urgency to increase the availability of genetic diversity to develop productive crop varieties. Crop wild relatives (CWR) provide such diversity and must be conserved if the global population is to benefit from it. Malawi plans to develop a national conservation strategy that guides systematic conservation of priority CWR. This PhD study contributes to this through development of a national CRW checklist and an inventory. The checklist has 446 taxa while the inventory comprises of 277 taxa priority to Malawi. The prioritisation was based on potential use in crop improvement, threat levels and endemicity. The study further analysed in situ and ex situ conservation gaps, projected impact of climate change on taxa richness and distribution in the next 50 years. Huge conservation gaps exist in Malawi with only three taxa conserved under ex situ and none is conserved in situ.Taxa outside protected areas (PAs) will be most impacted by climate change than taxa in PAs and these may need to be collected. Six PAs identified with broad range of the diversity should be condisered for active in situ conservation. The study also used simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers to identify drought tolerance among Oryza accessions from Malawi Plant Genetic Resources Centre to promote use of these in crop improvement. The information generated will guide formulation of national conservation strategy and action plan that provides a road map for CWR conservation in Malawi.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Biosciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The Government of Malawi
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)


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