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Based on documents located at the FTBG archives we know that before 1931 David Fairchild travelled to Cuba at least once (Fairchild, unpublished); however, additional historical research is needed to have full details of the itineraries followed by Fairchild along the Caribbean Islands.
From this account and Fairchild's unpublished manuscripts found in the FTBG archives it appears that the main reason to include The Bahamas in this trip was to collect germplasm of "sea-island cotton." The history of this crop is complex as it involves introgression between Gossypium barbadense L.
This plant hunting endeavor was the only major expedition undertaken by David Fairchild to collect plant material for FTBG. It focused on Indonesia and it only lasted six months between January and June 1940 (Fairchild, 1945).
Our gratitude to the symposium organizers (BNT and The College of The Bahamas in collaboration with FTBG, and FIU) for providing a venue to present our research.
This was a project initiated by William Gillis, the first herbarium curator of FTBG (Kass & Eshbaugh, 1993).
Therefore this grant marked the starting point for the living collections of Bahamian plants of FTBG and also provided a framework to develop research activities targeting plants from these islands.
Expedition members included two of us (BJ and EF) and Mark Daniels from the LLNPP and Jason Lopez from FTBG. During this plant hunting trip the islands of North Andros and Eleuthera were explored.
The FTBG living collection of Bahamian plants has been a source of material for additional molecular phylogenetic studies that included endemics restricted to the Bahamas and other islands of the West Indies.
Field research has been supported by the Latham Expedition Fund of FTBG. Eugenio Santiago thanks a NSF-CREST grant (HRD # 026200) to the University of Puerto Rico--Rio Piedras Campus.
Latham Expedition Fund of FTBG. Eugenio Santiago-Valentin was supported
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