- The Plate
Scientists Say Go Wild to Preserve Crops for the Future
With apologies to Matt Damon’s character in The Martian, when it comes to feeding a hungry, hotter planet, the Idaho potato alone isn’t going to cut it.
Unfortunately, many of the staple foods that humanity relies on are at risk from climate change. So plant scientists are increasingly looking to genes from wild relatives of domesticated crops for traits than can help our familiar potatoes, bananas, and rice adapt.
The problem is, we’re missing about 70 percent of the genetic material we need, according to a study released this week by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
“If we want to have at our disposal all the possible options for improving these crops, we need to have diversity,” says Luigi Guarino, director of Science