The Planning of Emergency Seed Supply for Afghanistan in 2002 and Beyond
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Appendix 5 - Wheat seeds from Afghanistan stored in ex situ germ plasm collections
Diulgheroff, Stefano (AGPS) Stefano.Diulgheroff@fao.org kindly provided us with a spreadsheet file, afgWIEWS_jvd1-10.xls. It lists a fairly comprehensive listing of all Afghani plant accessions held in germplasm collections around the world. The total number of accessions, placed in a total of 55 institutions, comes to almost 21,000, but presumably there could be a fair amount of duplication between some of the collections.
As of mid-December queries have been sent ICARDA and CIMMYT-Mexico, and CIMMYT-Turkey asking for information on Afghani germ plasm stored in their collections.
Of the 1,893 accessions from Afghanistan in GRIN, the USDAs Germ Plasm Research Information Network, three accessions are classified as "breeding material." All three are bread wheats:
PI 321728, classified as Triticum aestivum subsp. aestivum POACEAE, was received at the National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) on 06-Sep-1967. Inventory volume: 175. It was collected from the Bolan Research Farm, Bost. In Helmand province, Afghanistan. Coordinates are: elevation between 608 - 912 m (estimated by GIS). Latitude: 31 deg. 29 min. North (31.483), Longitude: 064 deg. 21 min. East (64.350) (GIS coordinates).
PI 321728, classified as Triticum aestivum subsp. aestivum POACEAE, was received at the National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) on 06-Sep-1967. Inventory volume: 175. Accession backed up at second site. Record entered: 09-Aug-1994. This one also collected at the Bolan Research Farm.
PI 519962, named AFGHANISTAN 1-48-448, and classified as Triticum aestivum subsp. aestivum POACEAE, was received by the National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) in Oct-1987. Inventory volume: 197. Accession backed up at second site. Record entered: 09-Aug-1994. Developed in Afghanistan and resistant to yellow (stripe) rust. Cooperators: Moseman, J., USDA-ARS.
As also mentioned in the body of the paper, one additional accession was classified as a cultivar, or improved variety suitable for release to farmers. It is a durum wheat:
PI 572882, named Afghanistan 24, and classified as a Triticum turgidum subsp. durum. It was developed in Afghanistan, possibly with Russian technical assistance in the 1980s. The germplasm is available from the N.I.Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry in St. Peterburg (e-mail correspondence between J. Dennis and Victor Dragavtsev firstname.lastname@example.org, director of the institute.
A search for all "land race" accessions of Triticum from Afghanistan from of the GRINS data base at http://www.ars-grin.gov/ found 1,879 records though records marked with !! and ** are/were located at another site. The germ plasm data base is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The list of these records takes up 42 printed pages, and is located at
this papers URL. Unfortunately, most of the 42 pages do not indicate many local names for the accessions.
Among the listed species and sub species are: [source: http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/database/latinT.html Plants for a future database]:
Triticum aestivum subsp. aestivum or "bread wheat." Wheat is widely cultivated in most parts of the world, but less so in Asia, for its edible seed. There are many named varieties. This is a hexaploid species. Of a total of 1,879 land race accessions from Afghanistan in the GRINS data, 1738 or 92.5% were of this subspecies.
Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta or "spelt wheat." Spelt probably arose through cultivation around 8,000 years ago following a cross between T. dicoccum and Aegilops squarrosa. This cross contibuted an extra protein gene to the seed, making a stronger flour that is more suitable for making bread. It is sometimes cultivated for its edible seed, especially in the hilly country of C. and N.W. Europe. There are some named varieties. It is becoming increasingly popular as a health-food crop, although it contains gluten it is said to be more nutritious than bread wheat and suitable for many people who are intolerant of the gluten in bread wheat. Succeeds in poor soils. A hexaploid species. Of the 1,879 accessions listed by GRINS as "land race" accessions from Afghanistan, only six or 0.3% were listed as being spelt wheat:
Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccon or "emmer." One of the oldest cultivated wheats, it arose over 10,000 years ago through cultivation of the wild emmer, T. dicoccoides. Its cultivation is declining but it is still grown in some mountainous regions of Europe. There are some named varieties. A rather low yielding species compared to modern cultivars.
Triticum turgidum subsp. durum or "durum wheat." A fairly ancient wheat, it probably arose over 8,000 years ago as a result of cultivation. It is still sometimes cultivated for its edible seed, especially in the Mediterranean region, there are some named varieties. It is also occasionally cultivated in Britain. A tetraploid species. Of 1,879 accessions listed as land race accessions from Afghanistan, 106, or 5.6% were listed as being this sub-species.
Triticum turgidum subsp. polonicum or "Polish wheat." A rather primitive wheat, it probably arose through cultivation about 10,000 years ago following a cross between T. aethiopicum (the first primitive wheat) and Aegilops sp. It is sometimes cultivated for its edible seed, especially in N. Africa and the Mediterranean, and it can be grown very successfully under garden conditions. There are some named varieties. 'Kamut' has very large kernels, 2 - 3 times the size of modern wheats. The seed contains significantly higher levels of protein and slightly higher levels of lipids and minerals. Reportedly less allergenic, though this has not been substantiated by controlled studies. The seed is said to have a superior flavour. A tetraploid species.
Of the 1,879 accessions listed in the GRIN database, only two were listed as this subspecies:
Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum or "Khurasan wheat". A rather primitive wheat, it probably arose through cultivation about 10,000 years ago following a cross between T. aethiopicum (the first primitive wheat) and Aegilops sp. It is still occasionally cultivated for its edible seed in the Mediterranean and the Near East. Of the 1,879 accessions listed as being land race accessions from Afghanistan in the GRIN database, 12 or 0.6% belong to this subspecies. They are listed below:
Triticum turgidum subsp turgidum or "Rivet wheat." One of the more primitive forms of wheat, it was probably developed in cultivation from T. dicoccoides about 10,000 years ago. It is still occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, there are some named varieties. It is not very high yielding. A tetraploid species, it is not much grown outside Britain. Of the 1,879 accessions in GRIN that are listed as being land race accessions from Afghanistan, only 13 or less than 0.69% belong to this subspecies.
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