Crop Wild Relatives Week with Dr. Stephanie Greene


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“An Inventory of Crop Wild Relatives of the United States” with Dr. Stephanie Greene.

Crop Wild Relatives week is September 22 – 29, 2018!

Crops are vital to feeding an expanding world – and like anything incredibly important, they need to be protected from things like disease, environmental disaster, and anything else that can pose a real threat. The key to their protection? Unexpected heroes that could be growing in your back yard– wild varieties of domesticated crops called crop wild relatives.

Crop wild relatives are the close cousins of domesticated crops (think a poodle vs. a wolf). Often, these crops are well-adapted to their environment and can exhibit wild superpowers such as drought or disease resistance. And because they are so closely related to domesticated crops, scientists can cross them with crops that people rely on for food or other uses, such as wheat or blueberries. The result – stronger, healthier crops– and peace of mind that your favorite blueberry muffins will be available for years to come.

Dr. Stephanie Greene and seedbanks around the world have made it their mission to catalog, protect, and educate the public on these wild, unruly cousins of crops and how scientists use them to give our favorite crops super strength.

This year, for Crop Wild Relatives week, tune in to find answers to the following questions and more:

  • What’s the point of a gene bank?
  • What type of traits are scientists looking for in crop wild relatives?
  • How do they determine which ones are important?
  • What’s a gap analysis, and how is it done?
  • Why is it so important that the public knows about crop wild relatives?

If you would like more information about this topic, please visit our Crop Wild Relatives Week website here:

Today’s paper is available here:

This paper is always freely available.

If you would like to find transcripts for this episode or sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website:

Contact us at or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to Stephanie, you can find her here:


CEU Quiz:

Crop Wild Relative Diversity Site:

Crop Wild Relatives Site:

Wild Relatives Resource Site:

Crop Wild Relatives of the US Site:

Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

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