By Mark Kinver for BBC News
Farmers in Peru are sending 1,500 varieties of potatoes to a “doomsday vault” in the Arctic Circle in order to safeguard the tubers’ future.
Potatoes are regarded as the world’s most important non-cereal crop, and have been eaten for about 8,000 years.
But native species from the highlands of South America appear to be at risk.
The samples will be stored in a vault inside a mountain, which aims to protect the world’s food crop species against natural and human disasters.
“Peruvian potato culture is under threat,” said Alejandro Argumedo, a plant scientist involved in the project. “The work we begin today will guarantee the availability of our incredible potato diversity for future generations.”