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Missing: 70% of crop wild relatives

Nature Plants has published the latest results of the global gap analysis paper 'Global Conservation Priorities for Crop Wild Relatives'.

The research, carried out by The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in coordination with the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) and the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew, has revealed significant gaps in the world’s genebanks, in terms of Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) diversity.

Over 70% of essential crop wild relative species are underrepresented and in need of urgent collection. The paper identifies which species are a priority, and where the hotspots for collections are.

The research has produced, for the first time, a global 'atlas' that will be available for plant scientists, conservationists, and funding agencies. This will enable them to see which CWR are in need of collection, and from where.

The full paper is available online through the Nature website:

Castañeda-Álvarez, N. P., Khoury, C. K., Achicanoy, H. A., Bernau, V., Dempewolf, H., Eastwood*, R. J., Guarino, L., Harker*, R. H., Jarvis, A., Maxted, N., Müller*, J. V., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Sosa, C. C., Struik, P. C., Vincent, H. & Toll, J. (2016). Global conservation priorities for crop wild relatives. Nature Plants doi:10.1038/nplants.2016.22. Available online