Genetic resources



We are primary interested in the study of the genetic structure of wild relatives of crop plants and their relationship with land use change and human development. We are also interested in elucidating the evolutionary processes that have shaped evolution of crop plants under cultivation. We have focused on multiple species of legumes (lima beans and Bambara groundnut), cassava, and peach palm because they are an important part of the human diet in Latin America and other developing countries.


The objectives of our projects are to study the influence of floral biology, breeding system, phenology and demography on the population dynamics and genetic structure of wild and cultivated populations of crop plants, and to integrate this information in the development of in situ conservation for these species. These objectives are fully congruent with current conservation policies, which place strong emphasis on the development of strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, including genetic resources.