genetic resources

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The gene pool in natural and cultivated stocks of organisms that are available for human exploitation. It is desirable to maintain as diverse a range of organisms as possible, particularly of domesticated cultivars and their ancestors, in order to maintain a wide genetic base. The wider the genetic base, the greater the capacity for adaptation to particular environmental conditions (e.g. a pathogenic presence; see pathogen). This has led to the establishment of gene banks. Compare genetic erosion.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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