Crop land races, weedy races and wild relatives conserved in plant Genetic Resources centre   in Sri Lanka:

What is crop land race

Crop land races are domesticated locally adapted traditional variety of a crop. They are   distinct local races developed by farmers over generations. Crop land races defined as unique varieties of crops that have adapted to local conditions through a process of farmer selection.

What is crop weedy race

crop weedy races are crop varieties that are no longer cultivated and now become naturalized in the wild.

What are crop wild relatives

Corp wild relatives are non domesticated plant which closely related to the crops, crop wild relatives defined as a wild plant species that is more or less closely related to a particular crop and to which it may contribute genetic material, but unlike the crop species has not been domesticated. The genetic diversity in cultivated plants is derived from wild ancestral species or wild relatives.

Important of crop land race , weedy race and wild relatives

 crop land race are important like other crops because they supply food, livestock fodder and  row materials for production of clothing and fuel. The land races are also integral part of the cultural heritage  due to their close link with local land area as well as community with their associated traditional knowledge, use and habit.

Crop wild  relatives and weedy race important as they are related to crops and are used in agricultural research and development. crop land race , weedy race and wild relatives are used as genetic resources to improve modern crops because genetic materials with valuable inherited traits could be present in them. This helps Agriculture to adapt to new challenges, such as Climate change, pest and diseases , Salination.

Why we conserve them?

Crop land races, weedy races and wild relatives are threatened & suffering from genetic erosion. replacement of local varieties by modern varieties resulting in reduction of the sheer number of cultivars is the main cause of genetic erosion. This is intensified by the emergence of new pests, weeds and diseases, environmental degradation, deforestation, urbanization and industrial development. collection and conservation of Crop land races, weedy races and wild relatives are therefor necessary for protection of this plant genetic resources for future generation and benefit.


Crop GroupNo of Accessions  
LandracesWild and weedy racesImproved
Rice and related spp. 2386311345
Other cereals and related spp 94213482
Grain Legumes 792135677
Vegetable Legumes 6156376
Solanaceous vegetables & Condiments & related spp. 47054320
Cucurbit vegetables 5532458
Brassicaceae vegetables 2011
Alliums 1015
Other vegetables 2439102
Leafy vegetables 11355
Root and Tubers 400
Mustard and related spp. 8315
Oil crops 1589107
Fiber crops 209
Medicinal plants 1820
Fruits 746622