On 16-20 June, 150 participants from 30 countries will showcase new research and insights on crop wild relatives and landraces at the international conference Enhanced genepool utilization - Capturing wild relative and landrace diversity for crop improvement, co-organized by Bioversity International. The conference will take place in Cambridge, UK.
Wild plant species closely related to crops (crop wild relatives) and traditional, locally adapted crop varieties (landraces) are key to improving the yields and nutritional quality of crops and providing resistance against crop pests and diseases.
Seven Bioversity International scientists are presenting their work at the conference, examining issues that range from plant genetic resources informatics to conservation policies. A new portal to facilitate access to information on crop wild relatives and landraces - the Plant Genetic Resources Diversity Gateway – will be launched.
The conference marks the ending of a 3-year EU-funded project, 'PGR Secure', which focused on researching fast and economical methods to identify and make available genetic material to be used by plant breeders, and on developing strategies for the conservation of European crop wild relative and landrace diversity. In Europe, 27-42% of crop wild relatives are predicted to be lost by 2080 due to climate change.