NPGB general objectives
Conceived as part of the National Ethnobotany Program from the Chapingo Autonomous University, the NPGB’s aims are:
I. To locate, collect, save and characterize the plant germplasm that, because of its attributes, are considered pertinent for satisfying the priority necessities of the national population.
II. To know, register and check the empiric and/or scientific knowledge conjunct jumbled on the definition, handling and conservation of the plant resources useful to Mexico.
For its functioning, the NPGB is organized in five sections:
a) Reception area. Here is the place where the collects are registered, dehydrated and (when it’s necessary) protected against harmful agents (for example: mushrooms and insects).
b) Conservation area. In the "cold room" it is disposed a 100 m3 volume. In its interior is maintained a 12-14% relative humidity and a mean temperature of -4º C. Here are concentrated in a systematic way the collects, all of them derived from different researching projects done by teachers and students, as well as those donated from others institutions with we are working together.
c) Engine room. Here are installed the machines that made possible the temperature automatic control, as well as the relative humidity in the conservation area. An electrical 10 HP engine move the compressor (Wortington). The refrigerating gas is Freon 22, and as desiccant perlisilic spheres are used (with humidity indicator). Water and air are transported inside tubing using eight 1 HP engines, they work responding the signals transmitted by the respective sensors.
d) Laboratory. Here is the place where constantly are done the germination and vigor tests related to the evaluation to the material response to environmental conditions in the conservation area.
e) Documentation center. In this section, it is concentrated the bibliographic stock that supports the researching done both NPGB staff and thesis students, starting in the germplasm given us because of previous researching. This is the place where all the relationed data to the conserved collects are registered. This information —among other things— made possible the index seminum appending, which is sent each year to those germplasm banks with we have exchange programs.
The most priority anthropocentric categories in Mexico
In the rural Mexico, there are three ways for plant using (anthropocentric categories) considered as the most important:
1. Alimentary. Those species eaten directly (like fruits), or those which demand less calorific energy for its digestion and posterior use by the human metabolism, for example: basic cultivates and wild species whose attributes interest rural communities, either they could be useful in the direct (genetic) or indirect (like grafts) improvement in the domesticated species.
2. Combustible. Those species used by rural people
in a quotidian way for transforming their food, maybe as wood or as charcoal.
In this topic, we will try to underline those materials that:
a) Have good adaptation to the ecological conditions in the environment used for propagation.
b) Its growing rate is relatively quicker.
c) Their calorimetric value is higher.
d) Don’t generate too much smoke while burning.
e) Produce good red-hot coals.
3. Medicinal. Those species that people in rural communities are still using for solving some of their most common health problems.
Conserved collections: basic information
Actually, in the conservation area at the NPGB, there are a total of 4,248 collects, which correspond to the next Taxa:
* 58 families
* 75 genders
* 128 species
* 568 specific variations