Brainfood: Extension, Wheat adoption, Bean ideotypes, Chilli evaluation, Rice domestication, Mungbeans from space, Biodiversity accounting, Cassava futures, Maize haplotypes, Heterosis, Cryo

The pangenome is the new genome – Part Deux

Indeed it was “a hell of a day” (somewhat re-ordered compared to the above tweet thread):

  1. Multiple wheat genomes reveal global variation in modern breeding. Genomes of 10 cultivars from around the world’s breeding programmes and a few other things added to that of Chinese Spring.
  2. A haplotype-led approach to increase the precision of wheat breeding. The above and fancy maths used to spot novel, agronomically significant haplotypes in landrace collections. Here’s a Twitter thread from one of the authors with his insights on why the work is important.
  3. The barley pan-genome reveals the hidden legacy of mutation breeding. Genomes of 20 really diverse barley lines, including a wild relative, used to (among other things) find novel variants in 300 genebank accessions.
  4. Assessing the regulatory potential of transposable elements using chromatin accessibility profiles of maize transposons. Some transposable elements affect gene expression.
  5. GreenPhylDB v5: a comparative pangenomic database for plant genomes. Pan-pangenomes, kinda.

LATER: Had completely forgotten I had used that title before :) It’s the zeitgeist for sure. And here’s a nice primer on pangenomes.

LATER STILL: Maybe it’s been a good year for something.

Yes, there were lots of pangenomes in 2020:

  1. Soybean
  2. Apple
  3. Maize

Brainfood: Covid, Tropical trees, Tree GR, Brazil nut, Fair research, ICARDA, FIGS, Landraces, Evolutionary breeding, Range edges, Central Asia, Mixtures, Taro origins, Nigerian abattoirs, Aquaculture policy

Diversify your landscapes redux

I originally published this post on 29 July, but then Dr Baudron pointed to two additional papers on Twitter, and then later to another one, so I’m re-upping, for the second time, with a sixth bullet point.

There’s a nice series of papers on the benefits of diverse landscapes in Ethiopia from Frédéric Baudron of CIMMYT and others.

Just in case this tweet disappears, or whatever, here are the links:

  1. Wheat yields and zinc content are higher closer to forests because of elevated organic matter in the soil.
  2. Diets are also more diverse nearer forests.
  3. Livestock (but not crop) productivity is higher nearer forests, and smallholder systems generally more sustainable.
  4. Bird diversity benefits from tree cover too, and that provides important ecosystem services to smallholders.
  5. Even limited reforestation in the surrounding landscape is associated with higher wheat yields in simulations, and you can potentially measure it from space.
  6. More people, more trees.”