Medicinal and Aromatic Plants collecting missions in Portugal

Rocha, F. Gaspar, C


Abstract: Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) are used in all civilizations and cultures and have always played a key role in health care systems worldwide. These plants constitute a major part of the flora, which provide raw materials that are primarily used for therapeutic, aromatic and/or culinary purposes, as components of medicinal and cosmetics products and other natural health products. They are also the starting materials for value-added processed natural ingredients such as essential oils, dry and liquid extracts and oleoresins. Portugal has given rise to very diverse environmental habitats, is cradle to a rich flora, comprising 3,995 described taxa, 500 of which are of aromatic and/or medicinal potential. Some of these species are endemic, sometimes with very vulnerable ecological niches. Plant genetic resources’ collecting is a fundamental activity, widely used in ex situ conservation. Between 1990 and 2014, the Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal (BPGV), carried out national and international MAP collecting missions, which resulted in the ex situ conservation of 1,606 accessions.  The main focus of this communication is to demonstrate the valuable contribution of those collecting missions in MAP genetic diversity conservation and evaluation.



Collecting missions, Genebank, medicinal and aromatic plants, Portugal

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ISSN: 2458-5920