Brainfood: Sweet cassava, Iranian wheat, Wild tomato, Ethiopian sorghum, Portuguese beans, Wild Algerian oats, Angolan Vigna, Apple tree, Regeneration, Robusta climate, Bronze Age diets, Maize domestication, Veld fruits, Red yeasts, Remote sensing

Working to understand and conserve genetic diversity

Just catching up on a couple of useful resources.

The Genetics Composition working group [of the Group on Earth Observations’s Biodiversity Observation Network] aims to develop, test and improve approaches for assessing and interpreting genetic diversity.

You can join it here. And thus contribute to the Genetic diversity targets and indicators proposed for the CBD post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. About which you can read more on the work blog, as it happens. The working group seems to have some overlap with the Conservation Genetic Coalition, which came out with its formal “Statement on genetic diversity in CBD” just before Christmas.

Meanwhile, over at USDA, there are posters on crop diversity and genebanks in multiple languages.

Gotta wonder whether any of this will reach the policy-makers, but one can hope, can’t one?

Stripping back the history of seed conservation

The original Frontiers of Science strips ran from 1961 and was significant as a means of communicating and popularising science. It was Australian and developed from the University of Sydney, and was produced and distributed by Press Feature Service. The series was co-written and produced by Professor Stuart Butler from the School of Physics and journalist and film-maker Bob Raymond. The early art work in the series was by Andrea Bresciani, continued later by David Emersen.

Frontiers of Science came to an end in 1982 with Stuart Butler’s death, but not before putting out at least 25 issues on agricultural topics, including two on crop diversity and its conservation. These date back to 1971, but are still well worth having a look at.