The genebank collections of the crop wild relatives of the world’s major crops are incomplete, and the gaps in these collections represent limitations on the options available to researchers and breeders to introduce new diversity into their crop programs.  At the same time, many relatives are threatened in the wild by habitat modification, the modernization of agricultural areas, and invasive species, among other factors, and climate change is likely to exacerbate their vulnerability.

To identify high priority locations for collecting wild relatives in order to fill the gaps in genebank collections, we compare data on the distribution of these species with the locations where the species have already been collected.  With contributions from experts in the field, the results of this “gap analysis” will inform the priorities for collecting CWR over the coming years.  An interactive map on the Conservation Gaps page will display the results of the gap analysis, which may be visualized per species, per genepool, and for all genepools.  Please check back with this page over the coming months as our results start to come in.

figure from: Ramírez-Villegas J, Khoury C, Jarvis A, Debouck DG, Guarino L (2010) A Gap Analysis Methodology for Collecting Crop Genepools: A Case Study with Phaseolus Beans. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13497. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013497

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