Document Type : Original Article

Authors

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

Abstract

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.‎

Keywords

Main Subjects