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Ex Situ conservation of potato [Solanum Section Petota (Solanaceae)] genetic resources in genebanks.

Conserving the genetic diversity of potato is critical for the long-term future of potato improvement programs. Further, it is the social and ethical responsibility of the present generation to ensure future generations have the same opportunities to use, exploit, and benefit from the genetic diversity that exists today. Genebanks and the ex situ conservation of potato genetic resources are the only way to ensure this happens; in situ conservation plays a complementary role, but it can never ensure that the vast diversity that exists on earth today is still there for use in the future. Material in ex situ genebanks not only serve as a reservoir of ready-to-use genetic material when needed but also provide invaluable tools for research now and in the future of cultivated potato and its wild relatives.