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Lactuca, Jordan, 2017
Collectors: C. Kik (the Netherlands) and K. Abulaila and Z. Tahabsom (Jordan)
In the global plant genetic database GENESYS, 15,258 Lactuca accessions are present amongst which 12,129 Lactuca sativa and 2946 crop wild relatives (CWR). Lactuca aculeata (Boiss. & Kotschy) is a rare species in the GENESYS database with only 23 accessions present of which 15 originate from Israel and 1 from Turkey. Seven genebanks maintain these accessions with the Israeli genebank maintaining most accessions, namely 11. The Dutch national genebank, CGN, maintains only two accessions, whereas the genebank at NCARE in Jordan maintains no accessions of this species. As Lactuca aculeata belongs to the primary genepool of lettuce (Lactuca sativa; Globerson et al. 1980; Zohary 1991), it is a relatively easily exploited gene reservoir for the breeding of new lettuce varieties.
The known distribution area of Lactuca aculeata is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Distribution area of Lactuca aculeata.
Given the fact that only a few accessions of Lactuca aculeata are present in genebanks worldwide and that the species could harbour agronomically interesting traits, a collecting mission to Jordan, a country that is located within the centre of biodiversity of the species, is clearly warranted. Therefore in the context of an already existing joint plant genetic resources project between NCARE (Jordan) and CGN (the Netherlands), a collecting project was set-up to sample Lactuca aculeata from Jordan.
The project resulted in the collecting of 55 Lactuca accessions, among which 51 Lactuca aculeata accessions, and one Lactuca serriola, one Lactuca saligna, one Lactuca undulata and one Lactuca orientalis accession
All material and accompanying documentation concerning this expedition is currently, for a limited period, only available to sponsors of this mission.