Exploration and collection of Quinoa's wild ancestor in Argentina

Ramiro N. Curti, Pablo Ortega-Baes, Jesús Sajama, David Jarvis, Eric Jellen, Mark A. Tester, Daniel Bertero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this paper we tested the performance of the Species Distribution Models (SDMs) to provide reliable guidelines for planning a collection mission for quinoa's wild ancestor, Chenopodium hircinum, across Argentina. A model was constructed by combining a prediction of the species' geographic distribution based on biocli-matic variables and herbarium specimen records. Annual temperature and precipi-tation seasonality, and mean temperature of the wettest quarter were the bioclimatic variables with the highest mean contribution to the model. Northwest and Central Argentina were the regions predicted with the highest habitat suitability. Then, SDMs predictions were tested by conducting a field-collection trip during February 2017 to previously unsampled localities. In each locality we determined whether or not C. hircinum was present. The model performed relatively poorly, as a significant number of collected populations came from localities with a low estimated proba-bility of occurrence. On the other hand, the Humid Pampas, a region with abundant previous reports, yielded just one sample. This result is relevant for the development of new SDMs to plan subsequent field-collection trips for C. hircinum and points to further improvement of these models based on information gathered here. The field-collection trip produced 59 samples of C. hircinum populations covering a wide range of contrasting environments in terms of latitude, elevation, temperature and precip-itation regimes. Moreover, a large number of collected populations came from Dry Chaco and High Monte ecoregions, which are very hot environments with maximum temperatures often higher than 25 °C during C. hircinum's growing season (spring- summer). A comparative analysis of adaptability ranges between quinoa cultivars from the whole range of the species distribution and collected wild C. hircinum populations from Argentina reveals that quinoa's wild ancestor explores a hotter range and suggests it can increase quinoa's adaptation range and yield stability by providing new allelic variation to breeding programs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiosaline Agriculture as a Climate Change Adaptation for Food Security
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783031242793
StatePublished - Feb 28 2023


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