Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Faculty of Life Sciences and Biotechnology Shahid Beheshti University, Velenjak, Tehran, Iran

3 2. Deaprtment of Biodiversity and Ecosysstems Management, Research Institute of Environmental Sciences Shahid Beheshti University, GC, Tehran, Iran


Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) has the potential to contribute to food security. These ‎taxa ‎can donate advantageous traits to counter biotic as well as abiotic stresses and improve ‎the ‏quality of crops. This study aims to provide as many details as possible on distribution ‎‎patterns and centers of diversity to identify and establish modern protected areas in Iran. ‎In ‎total, 539 species of CWR, belonging to 258 genera of 75 ‎plant families have been studied. ‎Using prioritization criteria (gene pool level, range of distribution, and ‎economic value) 17 ‎families, 35 genera and 94 species of CWR have been identified ‎in Iran, the highest diversity ‎was found in central Alborz, eastern Alborz, and the northern sections of Zagros. Several ‎geographic zones can be classified as national genetic reserves. ‎Iranian CWR were distributed ‎in 9 classes, ranging in elevation from 0 m to more than 4,000 ‎m. Species with a high ‎conservation value include: Rosa pimpinellifolia, Rosa ‎webbiana, Pyrus turcomanica, ‎Crataegus sanguinea, Vicia pannonica, Vicia grandiflora, ‎Lathyrus pseudo-cicera, Lactuca ‎wilhelmsiana, Cornus mas and Cornus sanguinea. The main ‎achievement of this study has ‎been to identify the distribution patterns and the ‎priorities for conservation of these valuable ‎taxa for the first time. Our results show ‎that these prominent taxa of CWR have the potential ‎not only to improve food and ‎economic security at a national level, but can also contribute to ‎global food security. Thus, an urgent and cohesive plan for their management is critical.‎


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