Nibbles: Digital lettuce, Dutch seeds, Durian genome, Jackfruit 101, Ag origins, Palestinian watermelon, Pumpkin evolution, Wine trade

10 October 2017

Dutch lettuce collection to be sequenced. Ah yes, the Dutch are real seed visionaries. Durian next? Maybe jackfruit? We should never have given up being hunter-gatherers. But then we wouldn’t have watermelons. Or, later in the year, pumpkins. Or wine.

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Reports galore for the CFS

9 October 2017

It’s the time of year for major reports, I guess. Here’s what’s on the table: HLPE. 2017. Nutrition and food systems. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome. FAO. 2017. The State of Food and Agriculture 2017 — Leveraging food […]

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Brainfood: Antioxidant adzuki, Sorghum gaps, Natural rubber diversity, Non-flying geese

9 October 2017

Phytochemical distribution and antioxidant activities of Korean adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) landraces. A cluster of about 10% of 200 Korean landraces have higher antioxidant activity, and smaller seeds. Watch them take over the world. Sorghum germplasm from West and Central Africa maintained in the ICRISAT genebank: Status, gaps, and diversity. Lots of gaps, but Nigeria […]

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Brainfood: Hot seeds, Diet diversity double, Finger millet GxE, Botanical gardens, CWR prebreeding double, Pathogen spread, Dog genomics, Cryo calculations, Biodiversity & productivity double, Movies & conservation

2 October 2017

High-temperature stress during drying improves subsequent rice (Oryza sativa L.) seed longevity. Up to 45°C, because it triggers a stress protection mechanism. Agricultural diversification and dietary diversity: A feminist political ecology of the everyday experiences of landless and smallholder households in northern Ghana. Production diversity at the farm level is necessary for dietary diversity, but […]

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Massive expectations for MOOC on climate change adaptation

28 September 2017

UNDP, FAO and UNITAR have just announced a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on National Adaptation Plans Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture. It starts 13 November. If you want to learn from development professionals currently engaged in national adaptation planning and agriculture, then this 6-week course is for you. I opened the syllabus with trepidation, […]

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Agricultural biodiversity wades into the mainstream at long last

27 September 2017

I really haven’t done sufficient justice to the new book from Bioversity, Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems: Scientific Foundations for an Agrobiodiversity Index, whose moving dedication I reproduce above. It’s a great review of the diverse reasons why agricultural diversity is important to us. But also of the complexities involved in translating diversity in […]

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Botanical gardens need to look to the tropics

27 September 2017

A monumental study of the plant species conserved in botanical gardens has just been published, and is getting quite a lot of traction in the media. The headline numbers are impressive: “botanic gardens manage at least 105,634 species, equating to 30% of all plant species diversity, and conserve over 41% of known threatened species.” It […]

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Nibbles: Agrobiodiversity Index, PPB, Heirloom rice, CATIE genebank, Faberge potato, Val @CePaCT, Nigerian food, Ethnobotanical book, Hope Jahren quote

26 September 2017

Bioversity DG lobbies for the Agrobiodiversity Index. One of her staff lobbies for participatory plant breeding. And he’s not the only one. Maybe they could tackle Indian rice next? Protecting cacao at CATIE. Faberge had a potato, of all things, and it’s a beaut. Celebrating Valerie Tuia, until recently genebank manager at SPC. Faberge taro, […]

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Brainfood: Pennisetum genome, Dioscorea genome, CBS timeline, Global taro, Science storytelling, Fragmented populations, Beet diversity, Potato diversity, Norwegian chickens, Med holidays, ABS, Jatropha diversity, Better olive oil

25 September 2017

Pearl millet genome sequence provides a resource to improve agronomic traits in arid environments. Of course it does. Lots of genes for natural wax proteins may be part of the answer. Genome sequencing of the staple food crop white Guinea yam enables the development of a molecular marker for sex determination. Which should make breeding […]

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Go HarvestPlus!

20 September 2017

Great to see HarvestPlus, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, make it to the semi-finals of the MacArthur Foundation $100 Million Grant Competition. With a $100 million grant, we would considerably scale up the delivery of biofortified nutritious crops in Africa, transforming the food system and breaking the cycle […]

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