Biodiversity and conservation of tropical fruits in India

March 29, 2024 | Sustainable Utilization and Conservation of Plant Genetic Diversity |

A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research examines the genetic diversity and conservation strategies for tropical fruits in India. India's diverse soil and climatic conditions enable the cultivation of a wide variety of tropical, subtropical, and temperate fruits and nuts. Recognized as one of the twelve mega biodiversity hotspots, India ranks seventh globally in agricultural biodiversity, housing around 117 cultivated species and 175 wild relatives of fruit and nut crops. Despite this richness, only 25 species have been domesticated and utilized extensively.

The study highlights the complexity of conserving genetic resources for fruit trees due to the wide range of germplasm across various genera and species. Effective conservation requires both in situ and ex situ approaches. India is the primary center of diversity for several native fruits, including mangoes, citrus, and jackfruit, and hosts numerous underutilized fruit types. However, increasing land use pressure threatens wild variants with valuable traits, necessitating urgent conservation efforts.

The research emphasizes the need for immediate action to protect these genetic resources through integrated conservation strategies. The article provides insights into the genetic diversity of tropical fruits and outlines methods for their preservation to ensure sustainable use and conservation of these valuable plant genetic resources.

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