Survey and conservation of crop landraces in northwest Syria

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Munzer Al Darvish
Anas Al Kaddour
Akram Bourgol
Yasser Ramazan
Yousef Hallak
Shelagh Kell


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.

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How to Cite
Al Darvish, M., Al Kaddour, A., Bourgol, A., ALRAMADAN, Y., Hallak, Y. and Kell, S. (2022) “Survey and conservation of crop landraces in northwest Syria”, Genetic Resources, 3(5), pp. 51-58. doi: 10.46265/genresj.USTS1801.
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Author Biography

Munzer Al Darvish, Aleppo University and Agriculture Research Centre, Syria

Former Lecturer