WP07: Case study Brassica

The ECPGR Brassica working group has recommended implementing a strategy for in situ conservation of wild Brassica species related to the B. oleracea cytodeme in 2006 and assigned high priority to the Sicilian centre of diversity. The species widespread in Sicily are B. incana, B. insularis, B. macrocarpa, B. rupestris and B. villosa. Until now no specific programmes have been set up to preserve these germplasm sources. The following action will be undertaken:

Firstly, compilation of information on 10 species and population distribution data using the European Brassica Database (BrasEDB) as a starting point. Secondly, prioritisation of species and populations will be done according to a scheme developed by the University of Birmingham and the results be discussed with the ECPGR working group on Brassica. Thirdly, the prioritisation work will result in sites suited to establish genetic reserves in the EU. Sites will be recommended and the national focal points for the genetic resources programmes will be informed. Fourthly, genetic reserves design, management and monitoring guidelines will be elaborated taking into account the specific biological features of the species. Fifthly, a genetic baseline for monitoring of the 5 species occurring in Sicily will be established. The recording of baseline data is also required to optimise database structures created by the coordinator by using real field and laboratory data. Sixthly, the nature protection law, sub-statutory laws, regional regulations, and funding opportunities will be compiled by the work package leader and the Danish partner, institutions responsible for nature conservation ,agro-environmental measures, and area managers will be consulted to ascertain the best possible approach to in situ conservation based on local knowledge. Seventhly, the derived recommendations will contribute to the development of a crop wild relative conservation strategy for Brassica in Italy and Denmark and will form part of the European integrated workplan for in situ management of crop wild relatives.

Wild cabbage growing on a pebbly beach in Sicily.