An ecotype is a population within a species (usually reproduced with seeds) that is genetically adapted to a specific territory, usually of a limited size.
This definition resembles that of a native variety (or cultivar). The difference is that ecotypes do not have a precise genetic identity, stable and defined, and they are not part of official classifications or registers. However they are very important for the protection of cultivated biodiversity. It can happen that, if they are adequately studied and well selected, they can enter into the classification of a cultivar. For example, the various ecotypes of corn that are called "biancoperla", grown in Veneto (Italy) with a mother-of-pearl-colored caryopsis, that are not yet registered and not yet officially recognized as varieties.