Conserving genetic diversity of crops in West Africa

A shortlist of 20 plants for priority conservation in Benin has been drawn up, based on relatedness to crops used to sustain livelihoods in the country, using GBIF to help identify plant records from relevant genera.

Data resources used via GBIF : 266 crop wild relatives assessed

This study by a team from Benin, China and the United Kingdom aimed to draw up a list of priority plants to conserve in Benin, based on their importance as wild relatives of the crops used by local people for food, livestock fodder, medicines and other purposes.

An inventory of crop wild relatives (CWR) was compiled using a variety of sources, including records from major herbaria and gene banks worldwide, accessed online through GBIF.

Using a series of criteria to rank their importance, the study identified 20 priority crop wild relatives for active conservation.

Photo: Benin pepper (Piper guineense). Photo: IITA Image Library

Photo: Benin pepper (Piper guineense). Photo: IITA Image Library

Idohou, R. et al., 2012. National inventory and prioritization of crop wild relatives: case study for Benin. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. Available at: