Existing strategies for collecting and conserving peanut genetic diversity need to be reassessed and updated in light of recent collecting efforts, technological advances, and the new political climate affecting international germplasm access and exchange. In the Americas, important taxonomic and geographical gaps in the collections still need to be filled before the full extent of peanut genetic diversity, both wild and cultivated, can be known from the crop's hemisphere of origin. Moreover, reports of peanut genetic erosion in Asia and Africa need to be investigated and addressed. The current global trend to implement national legislation regulating access to genetic resources presents new challenges for organizing and conducting plant explorations in other countries, making international partnerships more important than ever. The use of innovative new tools and methods for assessing, locating, and conserving crop genetic diversity, such as Geographical Information Systems and on-farm conservation, has recently increased. These new tools, methods, and partnerships are proposed as key elements for an updated strategy to help ensure that the unfinished work of collecting and conserving peanut diversity can be successfully continued into the 21st century.
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Keywords: Genetic erosion, germplasm collecting, GIS, on-farm conservation.
How to Cite:
Williams, D., (2001) “New Directions for Collecting and Conserving Peanut Genetic Diversity”, Peanut Science 28(2), p.135-140. doi: https://doi.org/10.3146/i0095-3679-28-2-16