Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding


Plant genetic resources of the Indian Himalayan region – an overview

Published on Jul 24, 2018 11:35 AM

The Indian Himalayan region houses wide array of plant
genetic resources due to its diverse climatic conditions.
India’s recognition as a ‘mega-biodiversity’ country derives
partly from the Himalayas wherein out of 6000 endemic
plant species, 2532 species occur. Major genera for which
rich diversity exists are - Oryza, Avena, Amaranthus,
Chenopodium, Fagopyrum, Allium, Hordeum, Linum,
Saccarum, Citrus, Musa, Pyrus, Prunus, Rubus, Fragaria,
Sorbus, Rosa,Lilium, Vicia, Lepidium, Lathyrus, Dioscorea,
Orchids, Cucumis, Solanum, and Trichosanthes, Bamboos
and Canes. These plant species and varieties have
contributed significantly to food and environment security
of the hill people. It also provides stability to the food
production systems by minimising crop losses due to
diseases, insect pests and weather odds. Besides, there
are several wild relatives possess genes for various
purposes and has lot of breeding value. Despite that, the
most distressing situation is that many of these valuable
genetic resources are eroding at very high rate. The crops,
folk varieties and landraces of local importance adapted
to specific micro-climatic niches are being replaced by a
few high yielding varieties and cash crops. Nonetheless,
appreciable amount of diversity has been collected and
being conserved ex situ by different institutions
particularly the NBPGR and NAGS. Nearly, 300 cropspecific and multi-crops exploration trips have been
undertaken and more than 30,000 germplasm accessions
of various agri-horticultural crops including some of their
wild relative have been assembled from Himalayan region
while around 6000 have been introduced from exotic

Keywords: Genetic resources, Himalayan region, land races, conservation


Year: 2012
Volume: 72
Issue: 2
Article DOI: N/A
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906


J. C. Rana info_circle
M. Dutta info_circle
R. S. Rathi info_circle
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