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The Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) serves as the Pacific’s genebank and acts for improved coordination on plant genetic resources management including conservation, development and utilisation.
The Pacific Community's (SPC) Land Resources Division Genetic Resources Programme Leader Logotonu Meleisea Waqainabete and Associate Scientist for Germplasm at CePaCT Amit Sukal have co-authored a research paper on genetic resources characterisation and breeding between 1950 and 2022 for the peer-reviewed journal CABI Reviews. The article explores plant breeding in the face of the Pacific’s current climate change adaptation challenges. With the Pacific on the frontlines of the climate crisis, the authors found relatively few plants were bred for genetic improvement, which would help them adapt to the current changing climate.
The authors conclude that despite the fact in some Pacific countries more than 75 percent of the population grows staple food crops, plant breeding is not considered a priority to mitigate against forthcoming climate changes, and this can be detrimental to crops with a narrow genetic base. Plant breeding should therefore be given high priority.