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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1143: VII International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

Endemic plants and wild Allium species in Turkey

Authors:   F.O. Tekeli, A.F. Gokce
Keywords:   Anatolia, endemic species, Allium
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1143.46
Abstract:
The beginning of agricultural plant domestication dates back to as early as humanity. There have been many reports on the total number of plant species, each with varying numbers depending on the specific classification they used. The total number of plants is estimated to be about 400,000 species. Turkey has a broad biodiversity due to numerous microclimates because of its geomorphological structure causing diverse ecology. About 12,000 species are known to exist in Turkey including about 4,000 endemic species, both more than that of European countries. Regarding Nigde and its neighboring provinces, endemic species are reported to be 726 in Konya, 543 in Kayseri, 507 in Nigde, and 100 in Nevsehir. Some of these endemic species are classified as critically endangered (CR). Most of the endemic plants with narrow occurrence in steppe ecosystems fall into CR group. Turkey has numerous endemic plants, but some of them are endangered. About 600 endemic species in Turkey are classified in the CR group and about 700 in the group of Endangered (EN). As in some other countries, numerous endemic plant species were collected between 1992 and 1997, and conserved at the Gene Bank of Menemen, Turkey. The In-situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Diversity National Plan was implemented to employ in-situ conservation of the species that are imperative for agriculture, food, economy and culture. Endemic plant species should be conserved to have them in the future generation not only in Turkey, but also in other countries on the Globe. Therefore, multinational genetic resources programs are still needed, especially for conserving wild plant species. Wild plant species are used by varying communities on the Globe. Plant breeders all over the world use wild types or relatives as germplasm for economically important traits to improve the cultivated species. Allium is one of the most significant types of plants used in the manufacture of curatives in Asia Minor. Because of their flavor, aroma and taste, Allium species are used in food as seasonings, and in folk remedy.

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