Photograph of sub-arctic willowA major challenge is to explore and understand plant biodiversity in natural and agricultural systems. Germplasm collections are central to these efforts and provide a means to understand the evolution, domestication and conservation of wild species, landraces and cultivars. They contain superior alleles for use in breeding and inform conservation policy. We will focus on clarifying the relationships between existing groups of species, investigating the link between sequence variation, recombination and linkage disequilibrium and quantifying biological diversity of native and endangered species for conservation purposes.

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