When do people search for coconut?

by Luigi Guarino on August 21, 2017

Or any other food, for that matter, at least in the US. Well, now there’s The Rhythm of Food for all the answers, in nice visualizations to boot.

And if anyone knows why Americans do more searching for coconut during the winter holidays, and then again in spring, do tell us.




Composite provenancing for crops too?

by Luigi Guarino on August 11, 2017

I completely missed an interesting blog post by Prof. Andy Lowe of the University of Adelaide when it came out a couple of years ago. “Local is not always best” updates a paper in a previous article1 on where you should get your seeds from for habitat restoration projects. In summary, the answer is: not all from one, nearby place.

To simulate the natural mixing of genes during a restoration programme, it would be necessary to restore populations using a mixture of material sampled at different distances from the focal site, a practise defined as composite provenancing. This ‘composite provenance’ would be predominantly composed of locally sourced material, taken from genetically healthy stock, but would also incorporate local and ecogeographically matched sources. In addition, a smaller proportion of material, depending on the natural gene flow dynamics of the focal species (but usually somewhere between 10 and 30%), should be comprised of material from much further a field.

Though Prof. Lowe deals with wild species in his paper and blog post, I think “composite provenancing” is also be relevant for crops. Sometimes, too much is made of “genetic integrity” and localism.

  1. Lowe AJ (2010) Composite provenancing of seed for restoration: progressing the ‘local is best’ paradigm for seed sourcing. In: The State of Australia’s Birds 2009: Restoring Woodland Habitats for Birds. (Eds David Paton and James O’Conner). Supplement to Wingspan 20(1) pp 16-17. []


Low throughput phenotyping

8 August 2017

A new breeding selection criterion for me: football bounce in turf breeding programme, Nanjing Inst Botany, Jiangsu https://t.co/1TDdXekCWo — Pat Heslop-Harrison (@Pathh1) August 7, 2017 The first national botanical garden in China, apparently.

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Brainfood: Mycorrhizal diversity, Olive diversity, Teak diversity, Core software diversity, Cost-benefit, Frosty rye, CGIAR future, Portuguese beans, Improvement networks, Food sovereignty

7 August 2017

Historical biome distribution and recent human disturbance shape the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Proximity to tropical grasslands during the last glacial maximum makes for a large potential species pool, remoteness from human disturbance for the presence of a high percentage of that pool. The First Molecular Identification of an Olive Collection Applying Standard Simple […]

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Wait, what?

4 August 2017
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Xylella spreads shock

2 August 2017

A few days ago the European Commission published its “List of demarcated areas established in the Union territory for the presence of Xylella fastidiosa as referred to in Article 4(1) of Decision (EU) 2015/789” and the news is not good for Corsica, the Balearics and assorted other areas. A good summary of the story1 so […]

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Wheat is somewhat ignored, in some places

1 August 2017

That’s according to Bill Gates, on his visit to The Bread Lab. May come as a surprise to CIMMYT and ICARDA, and to their partners at TraitGenetics. Or to the bunch of Italian farmers Jeremy interviewed for the latest Eat This Podcast. Or to everyone at the Land Institute and elsewhere working on perennial wheat. […]

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Brainfood: Soybean wild relatives, Durum diversity double, Intensifying livestock, Organic soil, Fodder millet, Brachiaria phylogeny, Use bottlenecks, Another spud, Sclerotinia stem rot, Canola resynthesized

31 July 2017

Characterizing the allopolyploid species among the wild relatives of soybean: Utility of reduced representation genotyping methodologies. Allopolyploids are more than the sum of their diploid progenitors, but also less. Genetic Diversity within a Global Panel of Durum Wheat (Triticum durum) Landraces and Modern Germplasm Reveals the History of Alleles Exchange. Modern varieties have a lot […]

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