Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Robert Krueger x
  • HortScience x
Clear All Modify Search

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is one of the oldest fruit crops grown in the arid regions of the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and the Middle East. The most probable area of origin of the date palm was in or near what is now the country of Iraq, but date cultivation spread to many countries starting in ancient times. Dates are a major food source and income source for local populations in the Middle East and North Africa, and play significant roles in the economy, society, and environment in these areas. In addition to serving directly as a food source, dates are packed and processed in a number of ways, and other parts of the tree are used for various purposes. The date palm is a diploid, perennial, dioecious, and monocotyledonous plant adapted to arid environments. It has unique biological and developmental characteristics that necessitate special propagation, culture, and management techniques. Thousands of date palm cultivars and selections exist in different date-growing countries. Different genetic marker systems have been used to study genetic relationships among date palm cultivars. The long life cycle, long period of juvenility, and dioecism of date palms make breeding challenging. Worldwide date production has grown from 1,809,091 t in 1962 to 6,924,975 t in 2005. Worldwide date production will continue to grow, especially in the Middle East, despite current and future challenges.

Free access

The year 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), repositories devoted to clonally propagated, horticultural fruit and nut crops. During this quarter century, facilities in Hilo, Hawaii; Mayaguez, PR.; Miami, Fla.; and Riverside, Calif. were developed to preserve collections of tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas; Corvallis, Ore.; Davis, Calif. and Geneva, N.Y. preserve the temperate crops. Each of these facilities now has internationally recognized, globally diverse collections of genetic resources for their assigned genera. Germplasm of unique genotypes are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits, documented in a national public germplasm database, and freely distributed as clonal propaggules to researchers and other germplasm users around the world. Seed collections represent wild populations for some crop relatives. These 8 genebanks maintain 30,000 accessions representing 1600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. The genebanks distribute more than 15,000 accessions annually to international researchers. Although originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, NPGS genebanks have also become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for educating the public. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.

Free access