AREA OF TAXONOMY AND PHYLOGENY

OUR AREA

It is responsible for identifying, taxonomically characterizing, establishing phylogenetic relationships and mechanisms of adaptive evolution of species of agrobiodiversity and associated biodiversity.

FUNCTIONS

The functions of the Area of Taxonomy and Phylogeny are the following:

  • To perform taxonomic and phylogenetic studies of agrobiodiversity using morphometric, phenotypic, molecular, genomic and geographic markers.
  • To study the processes of domestication, centers of origin and diversification of agrobiodiversity.
  • To analyze intra and interspecific speciation processes and their evolutionary mechanisms.
  • To conduct the reference herbarium of the plant species present in the Peruvian agrobiodiversity, mainly those conserved in the National Bank of Germplasm.
  • To conduct the collection and preservation of “voucher” specimens of biodiversity associated with Peruvian agrobiodiversity.

RESEARCH TOPICS

The research topics of the area are:

LINE OF RESEARCH 1
  • Taxonomic identification of agrobiodiversity species and their wild relatives
  • Phylogenetic relationships and times of divergence in speciation processes
LINE OF RESEARCH 2
  • Demography, genetic variation and spatial distribution of domesticated species and their wild relatives.
  • Evolutionary mechanisms that favor local adaptation and domestication in species of agrobiodiversity.

CURRENT PROJECTS

The wild tomato species are Solanaceae species that have as center of diversity the American continent. The exact location where the tomato domestication occurred has not yet been defined, but reports indicate that no domesticated varieties have been found domesticated in Peru but it is known that there is a great diversity of their wild relatives in our country. The conservation of these species is incipient in our country and much more with respect to its use in genetic improvement since we do not have native varieties or improved tomato varieties developed in Peru. However, we have a high diversity of wild species that could be used for the genetic improvement of new varieties adapted to local climatic conditions, pests and diseases.

This project aims to ensure the conservation of wild tomato species and to improve their availability for genetic improvement. To achieve this, the collections of wild tomato germplasm conserved at the INIA will be taxonomically characterized and the conserved accessions will be regenerated to increase the available seed population.

This project also includes the repair and conditioning of greenhouses, the purchase of equipment for cold storage of seeds and the strengthening of capacities through training of specialists in tomato taxonomy. Finally, the results of this work will be disseminated through the elaboration of catalogues, updating of information in the information system of INIA (SIRGE-INIA) and at least one scientific publication.

The native Capsicum (pepper and rocoto) is the fourth vegetable most sown in Peru (after corn, asparagus and green pea) and Peru has the greatest diversity of chilli (Capsicum) cultivated in the world, but mostly is composed by materials kept by small producers that do not reach national or international markets. The new demands of gastronomy, agribusiness, international markets, the search for molecules with functional activity, among others, requires efforts to search and consolidate information on the genetic resources of Capsicum. The project aims to form a National Germplasm Collection of the genus Capsicum from Peru, consolidating the collections of INIA and UNALM in a database that integrates morphological, genetic, physicochemical and culinary information. With the consolidation of both collections and the integrated database, state-of-the-art information will be available to preserve and properly value the genetic resources of Capsicum, in order to develop new processes and products and to contribute to the development of value chains for local biodiversity, Agrarian activity and its influence on living conditions in the rural sector, and the positioning of Peru in the international context. To develop the project, INIA and UNALM will establish joint working mechanisms to integrate the work of specialists in genetic resources, biotechnology, physical-chemical, bio-statistical and culinary analyzes, operating in experimental and farmer fields in 4 regions of Peru and laboratories in Peru and Belgium. The project is based on existing information, thanks to a project involving INIA (Bioversity, Fincyt) and UNALM (VLIR), as well as other institutions in the country and abroad.

RESEARCHERS IN THE AREA

Dr. Julio César Chávez Galarza

Specialist in Phylogeny and Taxonomy

INIA Headquarters

PUBLICATIONS

1. TAXONOMY

. Chávez-Galarza, J.; Henriques, D.; Pinto, M. A.; Zorrila, C. Evaluating the potential use of the ycf1 gene as a bar code in Amaranthus spp. 6th World Congress of Quinoa and 3rd International Symposium of Andean Grains. Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Government of Peru. Puno – Peru. 21 – 24 March 2017.