The news that a maize landrace has been found to fix atmospheric nitrogen because of microbes growing in gunk on its aerial roots has been getting a lot of traction. Understandably. The best take on it I’ve come across is this Twitter thread from Dr Sarah Taber:
From Botanic Gardens Conservation International:
As you may be aware, a conference of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 28-30 August. This will be followed by a meeting of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Liaison Group, convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
These meetings will bring together plant conservation scientists, policy makers and practitioners from across the world to consider the future of plant conservation, and in particular to develop ideas for a global plant conservation strategy for the post-2020 period.
In preparation for the meeting, a survey, available in English and French, is being carried out to invite views on the nature and content of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation beyond 2020 and how it might be integrated into the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
We would be grateful if you could take part in this brief survey, and encourage your partners, colleagues and networks to do the same.
For those interested in attending the GPPC Conference, more information is available here. Please note that the deadline for registration is 27 July and the early bird registration rate ends on 15 July.
A paper just out on the domestication of pearl millet gives me the chance to acknowledge the terrific amount of work on domestication of West African crops going on in Yves Vigouroux‘s lab.
- Yam: Molecular basis of African yam domestication: analyses of selection point to root development, starch biosynthesis, and photosynthesis related genes.
- African rice: The Rise and Fall of African Rice Cultivation Revealed by Analysis of 246 New Genomes. More here.
- Pearl millet: A western Sahara centre of domestication inferred from pearl millet genomes.
- Fonio: High selfing rate inferred for white fonio [Digitaria exilis (Kippist.) Stapf] reproductive system opens up opportunities for breeding programs.
A few days ago we posted about a decision-making tool for germplasm users to work out what access and benefit sharing arrangements are likely to be relevant to them. Today, from Bioversity and partners, comes a tool that addresses the other side of the ABS equation: what do countries need to do to implement the provisions of the International Treaty? Here are the specific questions it addresses:
- Who is responsible for promoting and coordinating national implementation?
- What is facilitated access to PGRFA under the multilateral system and who has the right to facilitated access?
- Who may authorize access to PGRFA under the multilateral system?
- What processes and criteria should be followed to consider requests for PGRFA included in the multilateral system?
- How to deal with requests for purposes that are (or may be) beyond the scope of the multilateral system?
- What PGRFA are automatically included in the multilateral system?
- How to encourage voluntary inclusions by natural and legal persons?
- How to ensure legal space for the implementation of the multilateral system?
- How to address benefit-sharing?
- How to deal with reporting obligations regarding transfers and sales?
- Who monitors the use of PGRFA under the multilateral system and enforces the multilateral system’s terms and conditions?
Now there really is no excuse for ignorance.
- Crop domestication: anthropogenic effects on insect–plant interactions in agroecosystems. Domestication can upset trophic webs. Poor dears.
- The soybean experiment ‘1000 Gardens’: a case study of citizen science for research, education, and beyond. 2492 gardens, in fact.
- The evolutionary road from wild moth to domestic silkworm. Domestication in China, followed by multiple independent spreads and differentiation.
- Barley heads east: Genetic analyses reveal routes of spread through diverse Eurasian landscapes. 3 taxa, 8 genepools, multiple routes for spread. A bit like silkworm but in the opposite direction.
- A spatial overview of the global importance of Indigenous lands for conservation. 40% of all terrestrial protected areas.
- Maize domestication and gene interaction. More than just the headline 5 genes.
- Hallauer’s Tusón: a decade of selection for tropical-to-temperate phenological adaptation in maize. Need to go back to tropical germplasm for adaptation to temperate conditions.
- Moving beyond calories and protein: Micronutrient assessment of UK diets and land use. Roots, tubers and vegetables are the most land-efficient producers of 23 nutrients.
- The legacy of 4,500 years of polyculture agroforestry in the eastern Amazon. It is still with us.
- Direct archaeological evidence for Southwestern Amazonia as an early plant domestication and food production centre. And not just in the east.
- Does women’s time in domestic work and agriculture affect women’s and children’s dietary diversity? Evidence from Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Ghana, and Mozambique. Yes, but varies with socioeconomic status.
- Remap: An online remote sensing application for land cover classification and monitoring. Use your training set to detect habitat type(s) in Google Earth.
- Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Before domestication.
- Drought tolerance during reproductive development is important for increasing wheat yield potential under climate change in Europe. The good news is that germplasm close to the optimized ideotype for 2050 is already out there.