Assessment of coffee (coffea arabica L.) genetic erosion and genetic resources management in Ethiopia

Afework Legesse


Coffee is an important source of annual income and employment contributing significantly to the economies of many developing countries. Ethiopia is the center of origin and diversity of Coffea arabica L., there is immense genetic variability that offers great potential for improvement of the crop. The objective of this paper is to assess the status of Coffee genetic diversity, identify major factors that cause coffee genetic erosion and status of coffee genetics resources management in Ethiopia.  The presences of high genetic diversity in wild Coffea arabica in Ethiopia were reported by different authors. However, the genetic diversity of coffea arabica L. are being lost rapidly due to several factors such as human population pressures leading to conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation and land degradation; low coffee prices leading to abandoning of coffee trees in forests and gardens and shifting cultivation to other more remunerative crops; and climate change. Additionally, narrow genetic basis of commercially used Arabica coffee cultivars and increased incidence of pests and diseases associated with climate change is leading to significant crop losses, threatening livelihoods in many coffee growing countries. Therefore, Conserving the wild Arabica coffee gene pool and its evolutionary potential present in Ethiopia is critically important for maintaining coffee yield, disease resistance, drought tolerant, quality and other important traits in future breeding program


Coffee, collection, germplasm, genetic diversity, variety

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