Using geographic information to acquire wild crop germplasm for ex situ collections: I. Map development and field use

Stephanie L. Greene, Thomas C. Hart, Alexandr Afonin

Research output

17 Citations (Scopus)


A common strategy for sampling intraspecific genetic diversity is to maximize the sampling of geographically distinct populations. The objective of this study was to illustrate how geographic information coupled with geographic information systems (GIS) analysis can provide a new level of precision for establishing frameworks for sampling germplasm occurring in ecogeographically diverse sites. An exploration to collect forage germplasm in the western Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia, carried out jointly by the National Plant Germplasm System and the N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry in 1995, was used as a case study. The development of a GIS database and resulting map products and how these products were used to guide the sampling of geographically-distinct areas is discussed. Information sources included Russian maps, orbital satellite imagery, remotely-sensed elevation data and long-term climate data from weather stations. A GIS database was developed and used to produce the following maps: soil classification, roads and trails, vegetation, and topography. Climate modeling techniques were used to develop maps reflecting climate zones. During the collecting trip, the strengths and weaknesses of the various map products became evident. The satellite imagery could be effectively used to identify potential meadow sites, but did not reflect more recent anthropogenic disturbance. Soil maps comprised of original Russian agricultural soil maps failed to reflect the extreme heterogeneity of soil types. Assessment of map-based and site-specific geographic features during the collection trip provided collectors with an increased understanding of how the physical features of the collection landscape may have influenced the geographic differentiation of 75% of the germplasm accessions collected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-842
Number of pages7
JournalCrop Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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