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... For example, a study of the neglected and useful plants of Mexico found gaps in the conservation of wild edible plants. Although 2598 wild plant species (more than 10% of the Mexican flora) are conserved ex situ as seeds in Mexico, with duplicates stored at the MSB, only 62 seed accessions of 21 species from the most important groups of neglected and underutilized plant species mentioned in the review have been safeguarded in the seed banks [72]. In addition, the lack of coverage of these species in ex situ collections means that the associated research needed for species propagation (e.g., germination requirements, dormancy issues, etc.) at a scale to support agriculture and restoration activities is also missing. ...
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There is a pressing need to conserve plant diversity to prevent extinctions and to enable sustainable use of plant material by current and future generations. Here, we review the contribution that living collections and seed banks based in botanic gardens around the world make to wild plant conservation and to tackling global challenges. We focus in particular on the work of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with its associated global Partnership. The advantages and limitations of conservation of plant diversity as both living material and seed collections are reviewed, and the need for additional research and conservation measures, such as cryopreservation, to enable the long-term conservation of ‘exceptional species’ is discussed. We highlight the importance of networks and sharing access to data and plant material. The skill sets found within botanic gardens and seed banks complement each other and enable the development of integrated conservation (linking in situ and ex situ efforts). Using a number of case studies we demonstrate how botanic gardens and seed banks support integrated conservation and research for agriculture and food security, restoration and reforestation, as well as supporting local livelihoods.
... The geographical origin and the center of domestication of pearl millet are situated in western Africa. The plant was subsequently introduced into India, where the earliest archaeological records date back to 2000 BC [48,[58][59][60]. Records exist for cultivation of pearl millet in the United States in the 1850s, and the crop was introduced into Brazil in the 1960s. ...
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The exploration, conservation, and use of agricultural biodiversity are essential components of efficient transdisciplinary research for a sustainable agriculture and food sector. Most recent advances on plant biotechnology and crop genomics must be complemented with a holistic management of plant genetic resources. Plant breeding programs aimed at improving agricultural productivity and food security can benefit from the systematic exploitation and conservation of genetic diversity to meet the demands of a growing population facing climate change. The genetic diversity of staple small grains, including rice, maize, wheat, millets, and more recently quinoa, have been surveyed to encourage utilization and prioritization of areas for germplasm conservation. Geographic information system technologies and spatial analysis are now being used as powerful tools to elucidate genetic and ecological patterns in the distribution of cultivated and wild species to establish coherent programs for the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Graphical Abstract
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