Towards a definition of a crop wild relative

Nigel Maxted, Brian Ford-Lloyd, S Jury, Shelagh Kell, Maria Scholten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Citations (Scopus)


Crop wild relatives are an important socio-economic resource that is currently being eroded or even extinguished through careless human activities. If the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD 2010 Biodiversity Target of achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of loss is to be achieved, we must first define what crop wild relatives are and how their conservation might be prioritised. A definition of a crop wild relative is proposed and illustrated in the light of previous Gene Pool concept theory. Where crossing and genetic diversity information is unavailable, the Taxon Group concept is introduced to assist recognition of the degree of crop wild relative relatedness by using the existing taxonomic hierarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2673-2685
Number of pages13
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • plant genetic resources
  • definition
  • taxon groups
  • gene pools
  • crop wild relative


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