Introduction to crop wild relatives
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Volk, G.M; Khoury, C.; Greene, S.; Byrne, P. (2020) Introduction to Crop Wild Relatives. In: Volk GM, Byrne P (Eds.). Crop Wild Relatives and their Use in Plant Breeding. Colorado State University
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/109058
External link to download this item: https://colostate.pressbooks.pub/cropwildrelatives/chapter/introduction-to-crop-wild-relatives/
Food production has advanced from the original form where humans gathered food from the wild, to cultivation and selection of wild plants (landraces), and further to modern-day plant breeding of new varieties and cultivars with high quality, yields, and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Food crops have been derived from wild plant species (crop wild relatives) from throughout the world and are now cultivated in locations that may be far from their original sources. Here, we provide information and illustrations about where food crops originated and we highlight the important work of the Russian Geneticist Dr. Nikolai Vavilov, who introduced the concept of “centre of origin” for crop plants and encouraged the conservation and use of crop wild relatives for plant improvement. Crop wild relatives (CWR) provide genetic diversity that may not be available in current cultivated varieties. The novel genetic diversity within these wild species may be the building blocks that breeders need to improve productivity and quality of agricultural products. Although CWR are likely to be the key to future crop improvements, as wild species, they may be lost if there are shifts in their native habitats. Ex situ genebank collections (maintained under cultivated conditions) provide an opportunity to conserve and protect crop wild relatives for future generations.
CGIAR Author ORCID iDs
Colin K. Khouryhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7893-5744