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Following Vavilov’s expeditions, Sardinia (Italy)

Loskutov, Igor, Camarda, Ignazio, Brunu, Antonello
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2019 v.66 no.3 pp. 569-577
barley, biodiversity, cultivars, genetic variation, grain crops, historical records, oats, plant genetic resources, rye, wheat, wild relatives, France, Italy, Sardinia
This article is based on historical records of N.I. Vavilov’s organization of an exploration of Sardinia (Italy) in the year 1927 through his assistant N.M. Gaisinsky and on results of a recent exploration jointly conducted by the University of Sassari and the N.I Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR) in 2012. By tracking and revisiting, the places visited in Sardinia by Gaisinsky and by collecting the plants in cultivation at these locations today, great changes that have occurred since 1927 could be documented. The recent collecting in Sardinia resulted in 33 accessions of cereal crops (wheat, barley, oat and rye) and their wild relatives. I was noted that the area under agricultural cultivation has decreased significantly and the number of crops dropped sharply. In addition, the recently collected cereals are characterized by botanical uniformity and most likely represent cultivars introduced from Italy and France. The collected samples were both placed for conservation at the Center for Conservation and Enhancement of Plant Biodiversity, in the University of Sassari and delivered to Sankt Petersburg for inclusion in the VIR collections and now represents an interesting object for studies of genetic diversity of agricultural crops in Sardinia.