New short communication on plant genetic resources

Posted on 2022-05-04

Syria lies at the heart of the Fertile Crescent – one of the centres of diversity of staple crops such as wheat, barley, chickpea and lentil. The country has historically been rich in agrobiodiversity, including crop landraces valued for their nutritional and culinary qualities, as well as for their resilience. With their cultivation already in decline before the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, this study was undertaken to assess the current status of crop landraces in northwest Syria, and to initiate an ex situ conservation programme. We found a significant decline in the number of landraces in cultivation, indicating a loss of locally adapted genetic diversity. Influencing factors include insufficient seed supply, competition with commercial hybrids, falling market demand and neglect by relevant government authorities. Despite not seeing conservation as their responsibility, the participating farmers were supportive of landrace conservation and willingly contributed seeds for ex situ conservation.

Read the paper at