Wild fruit trees face extinction as a stand-off ast GM

May 8, 2009 at 18:58 1 comment

eurasia_kyrgyzstan_nuts

The wild ancestors of fruits growing in Central Asia such as apple, plum, cherry, apricot and walnut are facing extinction. These wild fruits are disease-resistance and may prove vital in future fruit provision particularly given the continued support by governments of GM (genetically modified) foods.

According to Flora and Fauna International, a conservation charity, 90% of forests have been destroyed taking a number of wild fruits to the brink of extinction. Antonio Eastwood told the BBC:

“A lot of our domestic fruit supply comes from a very narrow genetic base. Given the threats posed to food supplies by disease and the changing climate, we may need to go back to these species and include them in breeding programmes.”

“They (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) lack the resources to conserve their valuable trees,” added Dr Eastwood.

This year Fauna & Flora International is working with scientists in Kyrgyzstan to carry out research on threatened trees and develop methods to harvest the fruit sustainably.

Harun Rabbani

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Entry filed under: Environment.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gabriel Hemery  |  October 4, 2010 at 11:18

    Thanks for an interesting post. I collected walnut seeds from about 250 mother trees in the Fergansky and Chatkalsky mountain ranges in the late 1990s. I then planted the resulting walnut trees as ex-situ genetic collections in England.
    Do you know the results of the research you mention by Flora and Fauna International?

    Reply

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