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Genetic Diversity Assessment and its Importance on Crop improvement in Ethiopia: Potentials and challenges

Obssi Dessalegn Hora, Abebaw Misganaw Amebaw


Genetic diversity assessments of plant play a great role in a predictable area to improve agricultural production and productivity, to solve food uncertainty in developing world.  Many breeders has tried to  realized that crop with diverge genetic diversity  can be assessed , evaluated ,captured and stored in the form of superior  plant  genetic resources  such as gene bank, DNA library to  preserve genetic material for long period. However, the conserved genetically diversified plant must be utilized to improve crop production in order to solve future food and nutritional challenges. This paper reviews eight important areas; (i) Gaps in Developing Taxonomy of Ethiopian crops (ii) Monitoring diversity for crop improvement, (iii) Alterations in landscape features, (iv) Significance of Germplasm Conservation of crops, (v) Gap in morphological characterization, (vi) Global perspective of agro biodiversity and molecular evolution, (vii) Emergence of tissue culture technology in Ethiopia (viii) Germplasm improvement. It provides basic enlightenment for plant breeders for better understanding and rapid diversity assessment of crop, for better understanding and utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of conventional breeding is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision and speedy manner than the classical breeding techniques by using molecular markers to avoid taxonomic confusion. For sustainable food production, conventional plant breeding research should have integration with molecular marker assisted evaluation of crops genetic diversity and/or cultivar improvement will be achieved. As a result, availability and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable. The merit and demerit of the basic morphological characterizations are briefly discussed and their source links were provided to get easy access; thus, it improves the understanding of modern molecular tools and its practical applicability to the breeders.



Ethiopia, genetic diversity, germplasm conservation, molecular marker, crop improvement

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