The barley seeds sent to Svalbard this week also include varieties from China, Korea and Nepal, even a variety that is roasted and mixed with yak butter to make Tibetan Tsamba. East Asia is a secondary center of genetic diversity for barley, and the wide-range of valuable traitssuch as disease resistance, high quality and high yieldsplay a critical role for the region's food security.
Taking a Walk on the Wild SideOf Rice, Sorghum, Maize and Potatoes
The seed shipments arriving at Svalbard also illustrate important progress in the global effort to collect and protect the wild relatives of domesticated crops, many of which could be important sources of traits such as heat and drought tolerance and disease and pest resistance. These traits will be needed to help farmers adapt to stresses that are being intensified by climate change.
CIP delivered 195 samples of wild potato and 61 of wild sweet potato. While not edible, wild potatoes are nonetheless viewed as offering traits that can be used to create more nutritious, disease-resistant varieties of domestic potatoes. CIP has increased efforts to collect, duplicate and store wild potatoes in the wake of studies warning that by 2050 as many as 13 wild potato species could become extinct.
Meanwhile, CIMMYT has included wild relatives of maize, known as teosinte, in its latest shipment to the seed vault, a shipment that includes 1,946 samples of maize and 5,964 samples of wheat. And the Australian Grains Genebank has included in its shipment wild relatives
|Contact: Michelle Geis