"Antonia Eastwood, the lead author of the research, described the region as a "unique global hotspot of diversity".
"A lot of these species are only found in this area," she told BBC News. "It's very mountainous and dry, so many of these species have a great deal of tolerance to cold and drought.
"A lot of our domestic fruit supply comes from a very narrow genetic base," she continued. "Given the threats posed to food supplies by disease and the changing climate, we may need to go back to these species and include them in breeding programmes." " (Thanks Muna)