Crop wild relatives - Undervalued, underutilized and under threat?

Brian V. Ford-Lloyd, Markus Schmidt, Susan J. Armstrong, Oz Barazani, Jan Engels, Rivka Hadas, Karl Hammer, Shelagh P. Kell, Dingming Kang, Korous Khoshbakht, Yinghui Li, Chunlin Long, Bao Rong Lu, Keping Ma, Viet Tung Nguyen, Lijuan Qiu, Song Ge, Wei Wei, Zongwen Zhang, Nigel Maxted

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The world's wealth of plant genetic resources has much value for world food security, but these resources are under considerable threat. Crop improvement, particularly under climate change, depends on the genetic diversity of our plant genetic resources, which are arguably inadequately conserved and poorly used. There is wide recognition that the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity have not been met. Biodiversity is at risk from multiple threats, including climate change, and the genetic diversity contained within plant genetic resources, particularly of species that are wild relatives of our crops, faces similar threats but is essential to our ability to respond to the new stresses in the agricultural environment resulting from climate change. It is important to consider the genetic value of these crop wild relatives, how they may be conserved, and what new technologies can be implemented to enhance their use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-565
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • climate change
  • conservation
  • crop wild relatives
  • ecosystem services
  • genetic resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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