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ABSTRACT: Growing research interest in crop wild relatives (CWR) has highlighted their value for crop improvement, particularly to mitigate the impact of climate change and contribute to global food security. As most conservation activities are implemented at national level there is a requirement for each country to develop and implement a national CWR conserva- tion strategy. This will contribute to regional and global CWR conservation actions and so help achieve CBD Aichi Targets 13 of improved genetic conserva- tion of socio-economically important taxa. Cyprus has historically lacked systematic CWR conservation but is rich in CWR diversity being located in the eastern Mediterranean Vavilov centre and abutting the Fertile Crescent. Therefore a more coherent approach to CWR conservation is desirable. From an initial checklist of 1,722 Cypriot CWR taxa, 178 CWR were prioritized and eco geographic data was collated and analysed using GIS techniques. The Troodos and Pafos mountains are CWR hotspots and ten priority sites containing the genetic diversity of 74.7 % of priority CWR taxa were identified. These will form the basis of a national network of in situ genetic reserves and 78 priority CWR taxa that have no accessions in the national Cyprus gene bank are highlighted for collection and ex situ storage.



Category: Papers Conservation
Authors: Phillips, J. et al.
Publication Year: 2013

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