Item Details

Title: World Vegetable Center Eggplant Collection: Origin, Composition, Seed Dissemination and Utilization in Breeding

Date Published: 2017
Author/s: Dalia Taher, Svein Ø. Solberg, Jaime Prohens, Yu-yu Chou, Mohamed Rakha and Tien-hor Wu
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
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Affiliation: 1World Vegetable Center, Tainan, Taiwan
2Vegetable Crops Research Department, Agriculture Research Center, Horticulture Research Institute, Giza, Egypt
3Faculty of Applied Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway
4Instituto de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad Valenciana, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
5Horticulture Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kafrelsheikh, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt
Keywords: conservation, crop wild relatives, diversity, plant genetic resources, Solanum melongena, Solanum aethiopicum, Solanum macrocarpon


Eggplant is the fifth most economically important solanaceous crop after potato, tomato,
pepper, and tobacco. Apart from the well-known brinjal eggplant (Solanum melongena
L.), two other under-utilized eggplant species, the scarlet eggplant (S. aethiopicum L.)
and the gboma eggplant (S. macrocarpon L.) are also cultivated. The taxonomy and
identification of eggplant wild relatives is challenging for breeders due to the large number
of related species, but recent phenotypic and genetic data and classification in primary,
secondary, and tertiary genepools, as well as information on the domestication process
and wild progenitors, facilitates their utilization in breeding. The World Vegetable Center
(WorldVeg) holds a large public germplasm collection of eggplant, which includes the
three cultivated species and more than 30 eggplant wild relatives, with more than 3,200
accessions collected from 90 countries. Over the last 15 years, more than 10,000
seed samples from the Center’s eggplant collection have been shared with public and
private sector entities, including other genebanks. An analysis of the global occurrences
and genebank holdings of cultivated eggplants and their wild relatives reveals that the
WorldVeg genebank holds the world’s largest public collection of the three cultivated
eggplant species. The composition, seed dissemination and utilization of germplasm
from the Center’s collection are highlighted. In recent years more than 1,300 accessions
of eggplant have been characterized for yield and fruit quality parameters. Further
screening for biotic and abiotic stresses in eggplant wild relatives is a priority, as is the
need to amass more comprehensive knowledge regarding wild relatives’ potential for
use in breeding. However, as is the case for many other crops, wild relatives are highly
under-represented in the global conservation system of eggplant genetic resources.