Genetic Erosion of Enset (Ensete ventricosum Welw.Cheesman) in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia: A review

Ashebir Gogile Zengele


Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman is a major food security crop in Southern Ethiopia, where it was originally domesticated. Genetic diversity within the species permits an organism to adapt to changes in environment and climate or to the presence of biotic and abiotic stresses. Only diversity can support social and economic systems to flourish that allow the poorest to meet their food and nutritional demands. The loss of variation in crops due to the modernization of agriculture has been described as genetic erosion. The current paper discusses the different views that exist on the concept of genetic erosion in enset crops. The different approaches in the recent literature to measure genetic erosion in enset crops are reviewed. According to the reviewed literature, the genetic diversity of enset in the study area is decreasing from time to time. The major genetic erosion cause mentioned by different researchers were lack of appropriate in-situ and ex-situ conservation, the diffusion of different modern varieties from crop improvement programs, the replacement of landraces by modern cultivars and etc. Therefore; collection of enset landraces which are at risk and on farm management, in-situ as well as ex-situ conservation is required.

Keywords: Ensete ventricosum, Genetic diversity, Genetic erosion, Wolaita

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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