Where does the SDG indicator data come from?

Just a quick reminder that the new Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) is now live on the FAO website, as recently predicted. This is the source for SDG indicators 2.5.1 and 2.5.2.

I’ve actually just come back from a meeting at FAO organized by the plant equivalent of DAD-IS, the World Information and Early Warning System (WIEWS) on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which funnels data into the plant part of indicator 2.5.1. More on that later.

Brainfood: Setaria diversity, Planteome, Cowpea diversity, Fertile Crescent CWR, Beer flavour, Marula diversity, Wild dates

Our friends the seed dispersers

Botany One has been running an entertaining little series from Nigel Chaffey on how plants get about, as seeds and as the gametes that produce seeds. In the third and final part, we get to plants that could reasonably be considered of interest here, to whit cacao and useful forest trees. It turns out that chimpanzees in West Africa are not above nicking a few pods from cacao trees and spreading the seeds an average of 407 m from the plantations. I like the ideas that this illuminates the thorny question of who “owns” a crop.

Sticking with West African trees, it seems that gorilla and chimpanzee dung offers “a cost effective and non-invasive way to restore native forested habitats”. Of course, if the gorillas and chimpanzees are themselves threatened and don’t travel widely, that’s not going to help forests further afield. Chaffey suggests collecting their dung and distributing these auto-fertilising, self-selecting seed packages directly over the area to be reforested.

I wonder what the forest genetic resources people would make of that?

A first for IRRI’s genebank

Seeds of an aromatic variety of rice from the International Rice Genebank Collection, accession IRGC 117265 (McNally et al., 2009), and of a commonly grown indica variety, ‘Macassane’, were planted for harvest in the 2015 dry season (DS) and 2016 wet season (WS), respectively (Fig. 1A,C). Seeds were sampled either from the International Rice Genebank (IRG) active collection (4°C) (IRGC 117265; https://doi.org/10.18730/1PG6J) or the storage facility (20°C and 30% RH) at the upland site (‘Macassane’) and held at 50°C for 5 days to break dormancy.

And so it begins. The first use (we think) of a DOI for a genebank accession in a published paper. Congratulations to Kath Whitehouse, Fiona Hay and Richard Ellis. And of course to the bridge-builder, Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, who had this to say:

We are now waiting to see how soon the Global Information System will “harvest” this info. In due course it should automatically discover that this publication’s DOI refers to this PGRFA’s DOI, and link the two DOIs.