Crop wild relatives Crop wild relatives

Crop wild relatives

  • January 16, 2012 7:46 am
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The wild relatives of our crops have contributed essential traits that support resilient and productive agricultural production.

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Climate change Climate change

Climate change

Climate change is impacting agriculture with increasing temperatures, more variable precipitation, and new pest and disease pressures.

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Biodiversity conservation Biodiversity conservation

Biodiversity conservation

The world’s plants are under pressure, and crop wild relatives are no exception. There is an urgent need to collect diversity and conserve it for the long-term.

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Breeding adapted crops Breeding adapted crops

Breeding adapted crops

Breeding crops that are productive in changing environments necessitates that wide diversity is conserved and accessible for research.

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Supporting food security Supporting food security

Supporting food security

Diversity provides the foundation for food security, underpinning today’s agriculture and providing the raw material needed for ensuring sustainable future production.

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Why crop wild relatives and climate change

Why crop wild relatives and climate change

Adapting agriculture to climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time, necessary to ensure that the crops that feed humanity are able to thrive in new climates with changing pest and disease pressures. New crop varieties that are productive under such changes are needed, and to breed these varieties, crop genetic diversity must be conserved and available to plant breeders. An enormously diverse and largely untapped source of this raw material for crop improvement is the wild relatives of our crops. Many crop wild relative species remain uncollected, and therefore unevaluated and unavailable to plant breeders and thus to farmers, and a number of these are at risk of extinction. This website aims to be a resource for those interested in collecting, conserving and using these invaluable resources in the context of adapting agriculture to climate change. We hope it will encourage others to join the race to safeguard and to use crop wild relatives.

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Project partners among winners of Canadian agricultural genomics competition

Genome Canada has announced the fantastic news that two of our Project pre-breeding partners, the Rieseberg Lab at the University of British Columbia and the Pulse Crop Research Group at the University of Saskatchewan have won two significant grants as part of the Agricultural Genomics competition. The sum of 7.9 Million CAD has been awarded […]

Collecting and conserving Bananas

Collecting and conserving Bananas

At Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, deliveries of boxes in various shapes and sizes are a frequent occurrence. The boxes contain collections of herbarium vouchers and seeds from wild species around the world. One box can hold a wealth of untapped genetic diversity, one plant may contain genes and traits that are resistance to certain pests, diseases, and […]

Assessing a population for seed collection and long-term conservation

Assessing a population for seed collection and long-term conservation

If you were to assess a population of plants for seed collection, how would you go about doing it? Assessing, identifying and collecting seeds correctly is fundamental for long-term seed banking at the MSB. Seed collections that arrive at the MSB should contain the appropriate quantity and high initial viability to effectively conserve them for […]