Identifying CWR gaps for 80 genepools conserved ex-situ within the ‘Adapting agriculture to climate change: Collecting, protecting and preparing crop wild relatives’ project

Published on 13 July 2011

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Timeline

Start Date: 1 January 2011 | End Date: 31 December 2013

Overview

Crop wild relatives (CWR) are used as a source of genes to adapt crops to harsh environmental conditions such as drought, extreme temperatures, and flooding. From the total number of accessions conserved in ex situ collections, only 18% corresponds to CWR (FAO, 2010). Several taxon continue unrepresented and conservation actions are needed.

Spatial analyses, based on geographical information systems (GIS), are used as tools to identify taxonomic, geographic and environmental gaps in ex situ collections, easing the process of taxon prioritization (based in identified gaps and threats to biodiversity) and producing information for guiding future collecting missions. These analyses require environmental variables and known presence registers as inputs, they also use modeling algorithms where reliability and performance will depend on the amount of data available and its quality. Despite the global effort to make biological information publicly available (i.e. GBIF), information is still lacking for some CWR taxon, leading to low performance models unsuitable for the gap analysis.

Under the current project, three different stages are planned:

  1. Gathering data from alternative sources to ensure robust and reliable models
  2. Improving gap analysis methodology, including threat assessment, and
  3. Making final results available for final users (NARS) through a website.

Donor: Global Crop Diversity Trust

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