- Resetting the table for people and plants: Botanic gardens and research organizations collaborate to address food and agricultural plant blindness. There are so many ways to get people interested in plants.
- A review on goats in southern Africa: an untapped genetic resource. 500-600 years of natural selection must count for something.
- Agromorphologic, genetic and methylation profiling of Dioscorea and Musa species multiplied under three micropropagation systems. Methylation at some loci, but no phenotypic differences.
- Modelling Crop Genetic Resources Phenotyping Information Systems. Field to figures.
- Agricultural and food systems in the Mekong region: Drivers of transformation and pathways of change. Corn everywhere.
- Yam genomics supports West Africa as a major cradle of crop domestication. The Niger River Basin, to be precise. How long before corn takes over?
- A diversity of traits contributes to salinity tolerance of wild Galapagos tomatoes seedlings. 3 out of 67 accessions of 2 wild endemic species showed particularly high salinity tolerance.
- Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. origins and domestication: the South and Southeast Asian archaeobotanical evidence. Here’s ground zero for domestication starting about 5000 years ago: 19.397833, 80.813132.
- A 3500-year-old leaf from a Pharaonic tomb reveals that New Kingdom Egyptians were cultivating domesticated watermelon. A Nile Valley origin?
- Origins of the Apple: The Role of Megafaunal Mutualism in the Domestication of Malus and Rosaceous Trees. Large fruits originally evolved to attract wild horses, deer and bears, which spread them far and wide; populations isolated by the Ice Age were brought back together by humans.
- Assessing global popularity and threats to Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas using social media data. Accessibility and infrastructure more important than biodiversity.
- Messaging matters: A systematic review of the conservation messaging literature. Communications professionals think that more input from communications professionals is needed for conservation professionals to communicate professionally.
- De Novo Domestication: An Alternative Route toward New Crops for the Future. Lots to play with, that’s for sure.
The potential benefits of recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies to both collection management and use will also be explored during the course of the project.
…access to 3,000 genomes of rice sequence data will tremendously accelerate the ability of breeding programs to overcome key hurdles mankind faces in the near future.
That would be DNA sequences from 2,466 of the International Rice Genebank Collection’s (IRRI) accessions, plus 534 accessions housed at the CAAS genebank, amounting to 13.4 terabytes of data. This begins the long road to sequencing the whole IRRI collection of about 100,000 accessions, the rationale for which was recently set out:
In this paper, we will discuss how genotyping and sequencing can be integrated into the activities of a modern gene bank to revolutionize the way scientists document the genetic identity of their accessions; track seed lots, varieties, and alleles; identify duplicates; and rationalize active collections, and how the availability of genomics data are likely to motivate innovative collaborations with the larger research and breeding communities to engage in systematic and rigorous phenotyping and multilocation evaluation of the genetic resources in gene banks around the world. The objective is to understand and eventually predict how variation at the DNA level helps determine the phenotypic potential of an individual or population. Leadership and vision are needed to coordinate the characterization of collections and to integrate genotypic and phenotypic information in ways that will illuminate the value of these resources. Genotyping of collections represents a powerful starting point that will enable gene banks to become more effective as stewards of crop biodiversity.
Alas, the news came a few days too late for the Pahiyas Festival:
Clearly, rice is the main inspiration of this delightful affair. The rice grains, rice plants and rice seedlings on display may all seem the same, but a closer look will reveal that they are not. Some seeds are longer, some are rounder and some are lighter in color than others, reminding us of just how rich and diverse our rice varieties are.
Maybe next year.
Meanwhile, if you want to celebrate instead by cracking open a nice bottle of wine from the Quinta do Crasto estate in Portugal, well, they’re using high-resolution genotyping there as well to figure out just exactly what clones they have in their fields. What’s that you say? You don’t drink wine? How about a nice bar of quality heirloom chocolate, also thoroughly genotyped, then? Truly the future is upon us.
- A third take on dog origins. Lock them all up in a small room and don’t let them out until they figure out a way to solve this. And more.
- Great new maps of deforestation. Same as the old maps? I’m confused.
- Ah, to be able to mash them up with crop wild relatives gap-maps! Or others, for that matter…
- Clear, balanced take on how to fix the food system. (And a great potted summary of why it is necessary to do so by the sainted Lawrence Haddad. The interviewer is not bad either.) Except maybe for the bit which sort of implies that the only way to improve crops is via GM. And for the other side…
- Bioversity comes up with a strategy for community seed banks in Limpopo and other areas of South Africa. Coincidentally, another CGIAR report on the same region, looking at wider food security issues. I wonder if the two could/should be mashed up? But really my main reason for linking to the second thing is to see how many people read the title as a plea for a return to old-fashioned cartography, as I did.
- Dual-purpose maize, shmaize. I just love that building.
- Latin American consortium looking for potatoes and wheat varieties adapted to new climatic conditions. Amazing that it is news, in a way.
- Global Tree Campaign launches new website. Sill no RSS feed though, that I can see. LATER: Here’s the feed, sorry to the GTC!
- Speaking of trees… Will agricultural intensification save tropical forests? Well, maybe. Demand elasticity comes into it, apparently. Dismal science indeed. I suppose those maps above come in useful for this kind of thing?
- In other news, the Middle Tennessee State University has a ginseng initiative.
- Teach a woman to aquaculture, improve her crop yields. No wait: Fish? We don’t need no stinking fish.
- 10 Ancient Grains to Watch. The usual suspects. This was pretty boring even when it was news.
- If you have diverse potatoes, you need diverse potato recipes.
- In 2013, knock ‘em dead with your profound knowledge of quinoa.
- Biofuel news 1: they may exacerbate global warming.
- Biofuel news 2: “Powerful enzymes create ethanol from agricultural harvest waste”. Could I just remind everyone, this isn’t “waste”.
- Raisins from Kandahar prompt diplomatic dreams of developing Afghan agriculture.
- Does heirloom corn prompt similar dreams for the Cherokee Nation?
- Desert seeds go to Svalbard.
- “Two young engineers, Fuad Gasi and Idin Fazlic, are in charge of the bank, which is staffed by volunteers.”
- Seedbombs: recipes and legal niceties.
- Achieving food security sustainably. Report of a PAR/FAO workshop.
- On the other hand, here’s what Australia’s leaders heard about A Food Secure World.
- How much do you really need to know about mandrake?
- Do rich countries produce more per hectare? h/t GOOD
- Pocket guides to chili farming. Might have a wider audience than originally intended.
- Collecting cockles is women’s work, at least in Ecuador.
- Why would anyone want to eat it when they could use cassava for biofuel instead?