Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a traditional staple crop in Oceania that has been introduced throughout the tropics. This project examines important living germplasm collections of breadfruit and its closest wild relatives and aims to 1) characterize genetic diversity, including identification of unknown and duplicate accessions; 2) evaluate genetic structure and hybridization within the breadfruit complex, and 3) compare utility of microsatellite markers to previously reported AFLP and isozyme markers in differentiating among cultivars.
People use plants in countless ways, but perhaps it is as food and medicine that comes to mind first. For many cultures certain food plants are central to their identity. Numerous species of plants are consumed as food by people around the world, but relatively few have become widespread and are now used globally. Many others are not well known outside of their native distribution. In some cases, these food plants offer great potential to be of benefit to human populations more widely. Research at the Garden focuses on underutilized food plants to improve food security for people.