In the Face of Extreme Weather, Scientists Look to Adapt Crops
Beans at the CIAT gene bank in Colombia. (Photo: Neil Palmer/ CIAT)
5 January 2024
The Crop Wild Relatives Project (2011-2021), was recently featured in an article published by the Scientific American. The Crop Wild Relatives project is a global initiative to safeguard and leverage the genetic diversity of wild plant species led by the Crop Trust.
Under the project, scientists collected resilient tepary bean plants in New Mexico, known for their tolerance to drought and heat. In total, the project amassed over 4,600 seed samples from 371 wild relatives of domesticated crops, contributing valuable genetic resources to global gene banks. As climate challenges intensify, the urgency to diversify agriculture and preserve genetic diversity remains.
The Crop Trust's focus on wild crop relatives aimed to extract resilient traits for breeding robust crops capable of withstanding future adverse conditions, addressing the imperative for global food security. The Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (2021-) is building on the Crop Wild Relatives Project.