Special feature: Harnessing crop diversity

Don’t miss this excellent set of articles on the topic of crop diversity, organized by Susan McCouch, Loren Rieseberg, with Pamela Ronald. It includes five perspectives and six research articles, on topics such as breeding technologies and international policies. As the editors observe, having a very narrow range of crop diversity is both risky (more vulnerable to pandemics and climate impacts) and unhealthful (restricts the nutrient range of the human diet). Articles in this Special Feature call for enhanced protection of germplasm diversity both in situ (in the environment) and ex situ (in seed banks). Strategies to use crop diversity towards improved plant varieties and agroecosystems are discussed. I learned a lot from this collection, including about the Local Contexts initiative  https://localcontexts.org/, “a global initiative that supports Indigenous communities with tools that attribute cultural authority of heritage and data” – check out the video for more information on the Traditional Knowledge labels. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA https://www.pnas.org/topic/550