- Resistance and Tolerance to Root Herbivory in Maize Were Mediated by Domestication, Spread, and Breeding. Domestication and spread decreased maize resistance to Western corn rootworm, but breeding increased it.
- Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites? A meta‐analysis across natural and agricultural systems. Yes, but it depends. Western corn rootworm unavailable for comment.
- Genome of Solanum pimpinellifolium provides insights into structural variants during tomato breeding. Lots of variants in regulatory genes for agronomic traits, compared to domesticated lines.
- Genomic evidence for recurrent genetic admixture during the domestication of Mediterranean olive trees (Olea europaea L.). There was a domestication bottleneck back in the day, but that was almost wiped out by later repeated introgression from the wild relative as the crop spread. So quite different from the above maize and tomato cases?
- Multi-parent populations in crops: a toolbox integrating genomics and genetic mapping with breeding. Not just good for QTL mapping any more, but you need a whole package of stuff for them to be useful to breeding programmes.
- Current uses of Andean Roots and Tuber Crops in South American gourmet restaurants. None of the chefs interviewed knew of mauka, but it’s not their fault.
- Payments for agrobiodiversity conservation services: An overview of Latin American experiences, lessons learned and upscaling challenges. Conserving in situ 100 varieties on 5 hectares each would cost US$70,000 p.a. Maybe useful for mauka? But will chefs pay?
- Genetic and agro-morphological diversity in global barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) collection at ICARDA. Under heat stress, though, which is the important bit left out of the title. Unclear if any of the material was from the Canaries (see below), but I can find out if anyone’s interested. Come to think of it, I’m kinda interested myself…
- An Evolutionary Approach to the History of Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Cultivation in the Canary Islands. You can apparently infer historical extents of cultivation on different islands in the archipelago, as well as the timing of separation of populations, which is pretty amazing. No word on representation in rock art though (see below).
- Enset (Ensete ventricosum) and the Archaeology of Southwestern Ethiopia. Information comes mainly from megalithic and rock art sites, which is pretty amazing. No word on genetic relationships, at least in this paper. Do you need me to link to previous Brainfoods on enset? No, of course you don’t, you know how to search the archive. You just put your lips together, and
whistleblow (kudos to whoever quotes the reference in the comments first).
- Relict Plant Communities at Prehispanic Sites in Oaxaca, Mexico: Historical Implications. Ancient native Mexicans really liked succulents around their settlements. Well, who wouldn’t, when all is said and done?
- To clean or not to clean: Cleaning open‐source data improves extinction risk assessments for threatened plant species. Clean. Always clean. And then clean again.
- Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Hope they cleaned the data or this unusual double-humped diversity pattern could be in trouble, and that would be a pity.
- Does it matter who advises farmers? Pest management choices with public and private extension. Yes, at least in Switzerland. Public = prevention, private = cure. Well colour me surprised.
- Ethiopia’s transforming wheat landscape: tracking variety use through DNA fingerprinting. Only 28% of farmers correctly named their wheat varieties, many of which were from CGIAR breeding programmes.
- Analysis of the Similarity between in Silico Ideotypes and Phenotypic Profiles to Support Cultivar Recommendation—A Case Study on Phaseolus vulgaris L. Italian farmers not great at keeping track of new varieties either, but who needs names when you have fancy maths?
- Morphological, Sensorial and Chemical Characterization of Chilli Peppers (Capsicum spp.) from the CATIE Genebank. From 192 accessions to this little beauty from Panama.
- Two divergent chloroplast genome sequence clades captured in the domesticated rice gene pool may have significance for rice production. Rice is from Mars, rice is from two Venuses.
- Identification of Mung Bean in a Smallholder Farming Setting of Coastal South Asia Using Manned Aircraft Photography and Sentinel-2 Images. From 10-m imagery for pity’s sake! Amazing stuff. Soon we’ll be able to distinguish landraces from modern varieties, right? Right?
- Linking biodiversity into national economic accounting. Yikes, biodiversity makes no contribution to agricultural development at all?
- High sink strength prevents photosynthetic down-regulation in cassava grown at elevated CO2 concentration. Could result in higher yields, but effect will vary among varieties.
- Discovery of beneficial haplotypes for complex traits in maize landraces. Landrace diversity for early plant development, robustness and growth form that could be useful in Europe made accessible.
- Understanding the classics: the unifying concepts of transgressive segregation, inbreeding depression and heterosis and their central relevance for crop breeding. It’s the dispersion of favorable alleles between parents.
- Challenges and Prospects for the Conservation of Crop Genetic Resources in Field Genebanks, in In Vitro Collections and/or in Liquid Nitrogen. Everything that can be in cryo should be in cryo, and some things that currently can’t too.
1) Today's been a hell of a day for plant #pangenomes.
In https://t.co/FSxNthxoG9 Walkowiak et al analyze up to 16 wheat cultivars to report on the global variation pool accessible to modern breeding pic.twitter.com/xPTtIvEZyC
— BContrerasMoreira (@BrunoContrerasM) November 25, 2020
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assessing the regulatory potential of transposable elements using chromatin accessibility profiles of maize transposons. Some transposable elements affect gene expression.
- GreenPhylDB v5: a comparative pangenomic database for plant genomes. Pan-pangenomes, kinda.
LATER STILL: Maybe it’s been a good year for something.
Yes, there were lots of pangenomes in 2020:
- USDA throws shade on EU’s Farm to Fork strategy. I see trouble in its future.
- Turns out jute has a future.
- Is CRISPR the banana’s future?
- How Svalbard gave ICARDA’s genebank a future.
- Ensuring the future of Ethiopia’s livestock through forage seeds.
- The future of Europe’s meadows is livestock. No word on forage seed or Farm to Fork.
- Germplasm Acquisition and Distribution by CGIAR Genebanks. A lot of stuff going in, a lot of stuff coming out, to everyone’s benefit. 35 years of data, with special focus on the last 10.
- Intraspecific diversity as a reservoir for heat-stress tolerance in sweet potato. 132 out of 1973 accessions tolerant of heat, though in different ways. A prime example of the above benefits.
- Identification and characterization of high‐yielding, short‐duration rice genotypes for tropical Asia. Short-duration varieties will need to be a bit taller and leafier to yield more. Another example of the above benefits.
- Modelled distributions and conservation priorities of wild sorghums (Sorghum Moench). More stuff needs to go into the above genebanks, though, for example from N. Australia.
- Ex situ and in situ conservation gap analysis of crop wild relative diversity in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Same from the Fertile Crescent.
- In situ and ex situ conservation gap analyses of crop wild relatives from Malawi. And not just the above genebanks either.
- The Potential of Payment for Ecosystem Services for Crop Wild Relative Conservation. Ok, we have the gaps (see above), and now here we have the method. What’s stopping us?
- Assessing under-Estimation of Genetic Diversity within Wild Potato (Solanum) Species Populations. Wild diploid species more diverse than previously thought. So providing more ecosystem services?
- Genetic diversity and differentiation of Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (Wall. & G.Don) Cif. in the Hajar Mountains of Oman. No word on the ecosystem services being provided.
- The investigation of minor and rare Tunisian olive cultivars to enrich and diversify the olive genetic resources of the country. Rare + minor doesn’t mean bad. But maybe an influx of Omani genes would help?
- Biobanking of vegetable genetic resources by in vitro conservation and cryopreservation. Yes, even for vegetables.
- From landrace to modern hybrid broccoli: the genomic and morphological domestication syndrome within a diverse B. oleracea collection. Four subpopulations: Calabrese broccoli landraces, hybrids, sprouting broccoli, and violet cauliflower. Diversity in modern varieties decreasing with time.
- Crop switching reduces agricultural losses from climate change in the United States by half under RCP 8.5. But it will have to be a lot of switching. Hopefully out of broccoli.
- The mosaic genome of indigenous African cattle as a unique genetic resource for African pastoralism. An influx of zebu genes about a thousand years ago is responsible for the success of African pastoralism.
- Protection of traditional agricultural knowledge and rethinking agricultural research from farmers’ perspective: A case from Turkey. Against power imbalances the gods themselves contend in vain.