||From 2009 to 2014 a nationwide effort was made
to document, collect, conserve, and characterize
wheat landraces grown by Turkish farmers.
Spike samples were collected from more
than 1600 farmers from 59 provinces, planted
as single-spike progenies, and classified into
species, subspecies, and botanical varieties
(or morphotypes). Altogether, 95 morphotypes
were identified representing three species and
six subspecies: einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum
L.), emmer wheat [T. turgidum subsp.
dicoccon (Schrank) Thell.], cone wheat (T. turgidum
subsp. turgidum), durum wheat [T. turgidum
subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn.], bread wheat
(T. aestivum L. subsp. aestivum), and club wheat
[T. aestivum subsp. compactum (Host) Mackey].
Compared with a nationwide survey in 1920,
these findings represent a loss of 50 to 70%
of the diversity found in 1920, though in four
provinces, little if any loss occurred. Based on
the Shannon diversity index (H¢) and number
of morphotypes, the highest diversity for bread
wheat was observed in Manisa, Konya, Iğdır,
Diyarbakır, and Tokat provinces and for durum
wheat in Adana, Diyarbakır, and Hatay provinces.
Socioeconomic data indicated that landrace
farmers are found mostly in remote mountainous
subsistence communities with very little
grain trade, small areas planted to wheat, and
relatively simple production technologies. The
key reasons famers continue to grow landraces
are their grain qualities and adaptation to abiotic
stresses. In situ conservation should be targeted
at provinces with the highest morphotype
diversity, with the rarest landraces, and with the
highest share of farmers growing landraces.