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Gomez-Montano L.,Kansas State University | Jumpponen A.,Kansas State University | Gonzales M.A.,Fundacion PROINPA Promocion e Investigacion de Productos Andinos | Cusicanqui J.,Higher University of San Andrés | And 4 more authors.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Traditional fallow periods in the Bolivian highlands are being shortened in an effort to increase short-term crop yields, with potential long-term impacts on soil microbial communities and their functions. In addition, native vegetation, such as Parasthrephia sp. or Baccharis sp. (both locally known as 'thola') are often removed as a fuel for cooking. We evaluated the effects of fallow period and thola on soils in 29 farmers' fields in two municipalities in the Bolivian Altiplano (Umala and Ancoraimes). Soil fungal and bacterial community responses were characterized using 454-pyrosequencing. Soils in Ancoraimes had significantly higher levels of organic matter, nitrogen and other macronutrients compared to Umala. Ancoraimes soils also supported more diverse fungal communities, whereas Umala had more diverse bacterial communities. Unexpectedly, the longer fallow periods were associated with significantly lower fungal diversity in Umala and lower bacterial diversity in Ancoraimes. Fungi assigned to genera Bionectria, Didymella, and Alternaria, and bacteria assigned to genera Paenibacillus, Segetibacter, and Modestobacter decreased in frequency with longer fallow period. The presence of thola was not associated with significantly different overall soil fungal or bacterial diversity, but was associated with higher frequency of some genera, such as Fusarium and Bradyrhizobium. Our results indicate that fallow period has a range of effects on soil communities, and that the removal of thola may impact the dynamics of these communities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bonnave M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Bleeckx G.,Catholic University of Louvain | Rojas Beltran J.,Higher University of San Simón | Maughan P.,Plant and Wildlife science | And 3 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2014

Clonal propagation and sexual reproduction have diametrically opposite effects on the genetic diversity of crops, permitting, respectively, the conservation of existing genotypes or the creation of new diversity. Oxalis tuberosa Mol. ("oca") exhibits a heteromorphic self-incompatibility system and is traditionally propagated clonally but is capable of sexual reproduction. In this study we investigated the influence of sexual reproduction on the in situ genetic diversity of a vegetatively propagated crop, taking oca as a model plant. The occurrence of sexual reproduction in natural conditions and its use by farmers were studied through surveys and interviews, while the effect of sexual reproduction on the in situ genetic diversity was evaluated using microsatellite analysis. Plantlets issuing from sexual reproduction were encountered in five of the nine visited communities. The interviews indicated that six out of the nine interviewed farmers were likely, albeit unconsciously, incorporating clonal lineages issuing from sexual reproduction into their varieties. The microsatellite analysis indicated a strong effect of such incorporations on the genetic diversity of the plant varieties. Assignment tests confirmed the allogamy of oca. "Complex varieties", made up of individuals exhibiting genetically differentiated genotypes, were most likely the result of recent crossing. Unconscious incorporation of new genotypes into the cultivated oca germplasm is therefore highly likely, raising the question of its potential occurrence in other vegetatively propagated crops. These findings could have an important effect on the adaptive potential of oca, especially in light of the genetic erosion that threatens the crop. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Bonnave M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Bleeckx T.,Catholic University of Louvain | Terrazas F.,Fundacion PROINPA Promocion e Investigacion de Productos Andinos | Bertin P.,Catholic University of Louvain
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2015

The seed system is a major component of traditional management of crop genetic diversity in developing countries. Seed flows are an important part of this system. They have been poorly studied for minor Andean crops, especially those that are propagated vegetatively. We examine the seed exchanges of Oxalis tuberosa Mol. (oca), a vegetatively propagated crop capable of sexual reproduction. We studied the seed exchanges of four rural communities in Candelaria district (Cochabamba department, Bolivia) at the international and local levels, emphasizing the spread of new sexually-produced genotypes through these exchanges. Interviews with 44 farmers generated socioeconomic, agronomic, crop diversity and seed exchange information, and data on the potential incorporation of new sexually-produced genotypes in the crop germplasm. We interviewed merchants to evaluate the input and output of genetic diversity in the communities studied. Results showed a positive effect of the farmers’ wealth on the diversity cultivated and on seed exchanges. Most seed exchanges occurred at market, creating a distinction between cash and self-consumption landraces. Cash landraces were intensively exchanged; self-consumption landraces were isolated at the farmer level and prone to genetic drift and complete loss. Merchants exported seeds of cash landraces across Bolivia and into Peru and Argentina. New sexually produced genotypes are less incorporated into cash landraces than in self-consumed landraces. However, new genotypes incorporated into cash landraces are diffused faster and better, being more intensively exchanged. We propose conservation strategies that can be applied to other vegetatively propagated and minor Andean crops. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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