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Stylosanthes Sw. is considered one of the economically most important tropical forage legumes. The genus is essentially Neotropical, and Brazil, Venezuela and Mesoamerica are the main centres of species diversification. In view of its importance, an extensive review of Venezuelan Stylosanthes genetic resources was carried out. Firstly, the known natural distributions of all 11 species based on herbarium specimens were georeferenced and mapped and, by comparing them with information of germplasm (=seed) collection site distributions, for each species regions were identified which in terms of collecting and safeguarding genetic resources of Stylosanthes had not been explored yet. Secondly, the actual status of the Stylosanthes collection in Venezuela in terms of collected seed samples and available germplasm is discussed, as is the need for further explorations, including targeting ecologically important locations. Finally, the different Stylosanthes species in Venezuela are grouped according to their perceived agronomic value and potential as forage for animal production systems, and recommendations are given regarding research, collection and preservation needs. Overall, this study compiled baseline information for future considerations of an important genetic resource in Venezuela. The endangerment of the three endemic species, Stylosanthesfalconensis Calles et Schultze-Kr., Stylosanthes sericeiceps S.F. Blake and Stylosanthes venezuelensis Calles et Schultze-Kr. should be a major concern and warrants priority considerations for preservation.
Category: Genetic diversity Conservation
Authors: Calles, T., et al.
Journal/Series: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Publication Year: 2017

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