Genetic resources and selected conservation methods of tomato
Tomato is one of the most popular vegetable crops. However, over time, the species has suffered a strong genetic diversity reduction and domestication bottlenecking. This growing trend is known as the genetic erosion. The human intervention on the genetic erosion intensification is high and has severe implications on the future programmes of management and use of S. lycopersicum biodiversity. The wild tomato species (especially accessions originating from the Andes to Mesoamerica) harbour many valuable genes, which have been lost among the cultivated ones. Therefore, there is an increasing interest to mine new alleles from the interspecific gene pool of Lycopersicon section. Sustainable genetic diversity management constitutes a basis for crop improvement, classification and protection. Moreover, conservation of plant genetic resources is crucial to food security, as well as pharmaceutical industry. There are a few strategies developed which address the preservation of tomato genetic resources. In situ and ex situ conservation are the two main complementary methods of biodiversity protection. The aim of this review is to summarise the most recent information about tomato genetic resources, genetic erosion phenomenon, as well as some traditional and modern preservation strategies.
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