As it well known the decrease of biodiversity is a large problem all over the world. In case of medicinal plants, where the huge majority of drugs are collected from natural ecosystems, the sustainable, utilization of the populations and reservation of their gene-pools has an increased interest.
In Hungary, the major background of 'in s...itu' reservation of medicinal plant species, their natural plant associations and ecosystems is the official protection by law. Successful examples are known for the controlled utilization of medicinal and aromatic plant species grown in protected areas. Assuring the naturally occuring high degree of biological and chemical diversity of species is a special task in this field: only maintenance of valuable intraspecific races can form the real genetic basis of natural biologically active compounds.
Maintenance of chemotaxonomical gardens and gene bank collections (seed banks, tissue banks) as 'ex situ' methods of reservation is carried out on an extended range in Hungary. As the required information on storage and maintenance of many medicinal and aromatic plant species is yet missing, exhaustive research is carried out at both genebanks in Hungary, which are specialized for medicinal plant reservation (RIMAP- Budakalász, SZIU- Budapest).
Beside the static conservation methods, 'quasi-production systems' are intended to assure an up-to-date and economically possible way of dynamic reservation with sustainable utilization.
TheHungarian pear collection (Pyrus communis L.) consists of 423 genotypes distributed over seven genebanks inHungary. This is one of themost extensive collections of native and cultivated pears found in Eastern Europe and includes a wide range of genotypes with small size fruit (referred to as “Miniature pears”). Based on the in situ and e...x situ measures taken by governmental and other institutions for fruit tree conservation in Hungary, an overview is given on some activities regarding areas of Pyrus collection and genebanks where pears are collected and grown. Descriptions of traits of miniature pears found in Hungarian genebanks for the interest of genetic characterization and breeding are presented.
While supermarkets devote whole aisles to hybrids, traditional varieties are hard to find, and becoming scarcer day by day. Unfortunately, countless old melon varieties have already been lost. Luckily we succeded in collecting most of these varieties, and thus conserving them in Gene Banks. Landraces, local types, and old breed races show many...characteristics that could be useful in organic farming. It is important to get acquainted with these varieties and cultivars, because they have greatly adapted to the climatic and pedological conditions of the Carpathian basin. Therefore their conservation is essential for the protection of Hungarian genetic variability. With the help of utilising our landraces in organic farming; careful selection; and the usage of marketing strategy in order to enhance quality features, such as unique flavour; we could reclaim the one-time excellent reputation of Hungarian melon.