Plant genetic resources

The genetic diversity of plants is a necessary and valuable resource, and sustainable conservation and use of the diversity is of uttermost importance. The genetic variation of plants has formed the basis for the development of crop plants, and lies behind the development our entire culture and civilization. Using genetic diversity for ongoing adaptation of crops provides for the maintenance and development of sustainable food production, supplying healthy and sufficient food for all.

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Photo: Finn Måge
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GENETIC VARIATION AND GENETIC RESOURCES

The traits of plants and animals are determined by their heritage and environment. Inherited traits are determined by genes contained within their DNA.

- Genetic variation refers to the differences in DNA/genes between individuals and/or populations, and is a prerequisite for both evolution and the refinement and development of new varieties and breeds. Genetic variation is an important part of biological diversity.

- Genetic resources can be defined as biological materials with genetic variation or genetic traits that could be significant for development and targeted use. Seeds, plants, sperm, and animals are examples of genetic resources.