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Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference



2nd International Triticeae Symposium


Richard R-C. Wang


Logan, Utah

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To adapt new varieties to a wide spectrum of environments breeders and farmers have emphasized the need for broadening the current narrow genetic base of modern varieties of important cereal crops such as wheat and barley. In response to this need, several thousand samples of indigenously cultivated Triticeae species and their wild relatives have been collected from the centers of diversity. However, gene bank collections are of little use if they are not evaluated and the information disseminated widely. Evaluation is essentially the link between conservation and use. Some of the collected material has been evaluated at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (!CARDA) in Syria. In the past cereal breeders were averse to using germ plasm that after years of work yielded uncertain results. However, in recent years they have begun to successfully utilize non-conventional germplasm (wild/alien and obsolete forms) in their crossing blocks. The substantial progress at !CARDA in the evaluation and utilization of Triticeae germplasm for crop improvement in the low rainfall areas of West Asia and North Africa is described.