Half of key wild crops missing from gene banks

Gene banks are missing more than half the wild relatives of the world’s most important food crops — which potentially harbour traits for higher yields, and resistance to disease and climate change — according to a study. Scientists looked at 29 staple crops, including rice, wheat and potato, and found that around 240 of their 450 wild relatives need collecting and placing in gene banks. They published their findings on the Crop Wild Relatives website last week (22 July).

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