What will the 2020s be like for crop diversity conservation?

20 September 2017

The low level of activity last week on the blog was due to the fact that I was at the Botanic Garden Meise in Belgium participating in the annual meeting organized by the Genebank Platform. You can get a flavour of what happened from Twitter. And yes, I’m sorry, I should have told you all […]

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Nibbles: Millets galore, Human diversity & ag, Super farmers, Extinction is forever, Indian nutrition maps, Future Food competition, Banana viruses, Cassava in Brazil & Africa, Sugar book, Fairchild & Irma, Vegetable ROI, Embrapa beans, Certified coffee, Legal pot, Native American foods

19 September 2017

Today’s new genome is pearl millet. The most climate-smart of crops? Now, to process it more easily. Finger millet is not too bad either. Agriculture was good for human diversity, at least in Papua New Guinea. Elsewhere, maybe not so much. Julio Hancco Mamani grows 400 potato varieties up in the Andes (but how did […]

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Brainfood: Baobab nutrition, New wild cucumber, Strawberry diversity, Sahelian threats, MTAs, CC & yields

18 September 2017

Nutritional variation in baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) fruit pulp and seeds based on Africa geographical regions. Malawi has the most nutritious types. A valid name for the Xishuangbanna gourd, a cucumber with carotene-rich fruits. Cucumis sativus L. var. xishuangbannanensis Qi & Yuan ex S.S.Renner, var. nov., if you must know. Population genetic analysis of a […]

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Breeding tomorrow’s heirlooms

14 September 2017

Interesting article in Modern Farmer, on Why We Need to Revitalize Organic Seed Farming. They rounded up the usual suspects, who offer the expected explanations, none of which detracts from the importance of what some breeders are doing. “The heirloom boom of the nineties helped people see the value of preserving seed, but they don’t […]

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Brainfood: Eggplant germplasm, CC threat, Impact metrics, Drought & seeds, Burundi cattle, Wild chickpea, Banana collecting, Bambara groundnut diversity, CIP cryo, USA PGR policy, Australian forages, ILRI seed testing, Nepal intensification, Maize and CC

11 September 2017

World Vegetable Center Eggplant Collection: Origin, Composition, Seed Dissemination and Utilization in Breeding. 3,200 accessions from 90 countries, covering all 3 cultivated species, but not enough wild relatives. An integrated framework to identify wildlife populations under threat from climate change. Need to know about landscape connectivity, and genomic data would be useful too. Research impact: […]

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Caribbean genebanks in the firing line

8 September 2017

That’s quite a few genebanks in the way of Irma, with Jose to come. Stay safe, everyone.

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Nibbles: Community seed bank, Weird chocolate, Rice breeding, “Super” plants, Quinoa, Bush tucker

8 September 2017

Mr Chetri’s genebank. Ruby chocolate. You heard me. The next Green Revolution won’t be like the first one. Phew. Ideas that will change the world include “super plants” like enset. Right. But not, surprisingly, quinoa. Or bush tucker.

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Sin maíz no hay país

8 September 2017

Town by town, I looked for these seeds, studying where they might be located. I started driving to many states in Mexico trying to find them, but there were none. It was so disappointing. One by one, I had people telling me that their grandparents planted them, but not anymore, and they lost the seeds […]

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Featured: Snap pea history

4 September 2017

Was Calvin Lamborn the Father of the Snap Pea, or not? Pea lover thinks so, on balance: He was well aware that heirloom varieties of Snap Pea had existed for years. However, it was HIS tireless efforts to introduce this “new vegetable” to chefs and food writers in the 70’s that began the journey to […]

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GPGR4 busy distracting genebanks in Giessen

4 September 2017

The 4th International Symposium on Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources is off and running in Giessen, Germany, with a packed programme of cool examples of the application of the latest gizmos and fancy maths to the conservation and use of crop diversity. And yes, there’s a hashtag. As ever, if you’re there, and would like […]

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