NATIVE SEEDS/SEARCH: BRIDGING IN SITU AND EX SITU CONSERVATION OF NATIVE SOUTHWESTERN CROPS

in HortScience
Authors:
Gary Paul NabhanNative Seeds/SEARCH, Tucson AZ 85719

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Mahina DreesNative Seeds/SEARCH, Tucson AZ 85719

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Kevin DahlNative Seeds/SEARCH, Tucson AZ 85719

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The binational Southwest remains rich in native crop land races and crop wild relatives, despite numerous pressures favoring genetic erosion. Native Seeds/SEARCH is promoting in situ conservation in traditional Indian fields and nearby wild habitats, but also maintains a gene bank as a back-up, to allow future reintroductions. Seeds are distributed to Native American communities for free, and their value is reinforced through a variety of educational materials and presentations. Our regional focus allows us to serve as an effective bridge between in situ and ex situ conservationists, between Indian and international organizations, and between tribes. Methods, ethics and accomplishments to date will be highlighted.

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