- Nevis has 44 kinds of mango, including Amory Polly, which could actually be Amrapali आम्रपाली.
- A twitter thread on “hogs, ferality, and race in American history.” If that doesn’t make you click nothing will.
- “Can sweet potatoes reduce widespread vitamin A deficiency in Africa?” Guess.
- The end of kava as we know it?
- Making linen.
- Better scientific posters? Here’s hoping.
- Pigenonpea pre-breeding lines hit the bigtime.
- Mapping fires from space. Part of an early warning system for crop wild relatives?
- Roundup of how some breeders are preparing crops for climate change.
- No expiration date on yeast.
- A couple of European crop diversity projects: DYNAVERSITY and ReSEED.
- Transforming agricultural land use through marginal gains in the food system. A nudge here, a nudge there, pretty soon you’re talking about a revolution.
- Exploitation of diversity within farmers’ durum wheat varieties enhanced the chance of selecting productive, stable and adaptable new varieties to the local climatic conditions. Some landraces are pretty good.
- Enset in Ethiopia: a poorly characterized but resilient starch staple. Some local crops are pretty good.
- Market‐led options to scale up legume seeds in developing countries: Experiences from the Tropical Legumes Project. Ah yes, PPPs.
- Global mapping of soil salinity change. A billion hectares and increasing. We’re going to need all the above.
- Integrating a newly developed BAC-based physical mapping resource for Lolium perenne with a genome-wide association study across a L. perenne European ecotype collection identifies genomic contexts associated with agriculturally important traits. “Clearly this is not an end-point for L. perenne genomics…” Ok, call me when you get there.
- A high-quality genome of Eragrostis curvula grass provides insights into Poaceae evolution and supports new strategies to enhance forage quality. “Understanding and subsequently manipulating the genetic drivers underlying apomixis could revolutionize agriculture.” Ok, call me when you get there.
- Many unreported crop pests and pathogens are probably already present. Especially in China, India, southern Brazil and some countries of the former USSR.
- Compositional Analysis of Genetically Engineered GR2E “Golden Rice” in Comparison to That of Conventional Rice. Only difference is beta-carotene. But that was never the issue.
- Ancient cattle genomics, origins, and rapid turnover in the Fertile Crescent. aDNA shows origin from multiple populations, and separate introgressions from aurochs, then an influx of zebu bulls from the Indus Valley in the Bronze Age. Basically a Zeus-and-Europa scenario.
- Global agricultural productivity is threatened by increasing pollinator dependence without a parallel increase in crop diversification. Agricultural diversification going up weakly, possibly undermining pollinators, while proportion of pollinator-dependent crops increasing strongly.
- Food production shocks across land and sea. There are shock hotspots, and overall the frequency of shocks is going up. Whatever can be done?
- National food production stabilized by crop diversity. I wonder.
- The SDG of zero hunger 75 years on: Turning full circle on agriculture and nutrition. No longer just calories.
- Diane Ragone is Distinguished Economic Botanist for 2020.
- Climate change is reducing consumable calories by about 1% a year for the top 10 crops globally.
- East Africa to get a livestock genebank. Will they use this “universal tool“?
- Meanwhile, transhumance is hanging on in Spain.
- Another community seed bank in India.
- And the international coconut genebank will survive.
- Roots, tubers and banana to increase in importance, but will need investment.
- Indigenous tribes to be involved in fight against sudden oak death in California.
- Sensitivity of grain yields to historical climate variability in India. Other cereals are less sensitive than rice.
- Monitoring Changes in the Cultivation of Pigeonpea and Groundnut in Malawi Using Time Series Satellite Imagery for Sustainable Food Systems. Pigeonpea cultivation has expanded so much in response to Asian markets you can track it from space. But for how long?
- The relationship between forests and freshwater fish consumption in rural Nigeria. Fish need forests.
- Temporal patterns of seed quality development, decline, and timing of maximum quality during seed development and maturation. “…when maximum quality is first attained, and for how long it is maintained during seed development and maturation, varies with genotype and environment.” Oh, great.
- Modeling Crop Genetic Resources Phenotyping Information Systems. Managing meta-data on characterization and evaluation data.
- In vivo human-like robotic phenotyping of leaf traits in maize and sorghum in greenhouse. Yes, characterization and evaluation data like this.
- Ten quick tips for effective dimensionality reduction. How to analyze all that C&E data.
- Mutation of a bHLH transcription factor allowed almond domestication. A point mutation is all it took.
- Chilling accumulation in fruit trees in Spain under climate change. Some fruit trees, even in generally warm places, need a certain amount of cold to develop properly, and might not get it in the future. Maybe a point mutation will come to the rescue.
- Smart forage selection could significantly improve soil health in the tropics. Could.
- Evaluation of linkage disequilibrium, population structure, and genetic diversity in the U.S. peanut mini core collection. Can’t really use for GWAS. What a tragedy.
- Implications of climate change to the design of protected areas: The case study of small islands (Azores). The current PA system will still be ok on one island, but not on another. Has someone done this globally?
- Urbanisation, dietary change and traditional food practices in Indonesia: A longitudinal analysis. Westernization of diets is limited to Jakarta.
- Orphan crops: their importance and the urgency of improvement. They seem to be doing ok in Indonesia?
- Reconstructing Asian faunal introductions to eastern Africa from multi-proxy biomolecular and archaeological datasets. Chickens and black rats went from Asia to the coast of E Africa in the mid-first millennium CE.
- Archaeological and biometric perspectives on the development of chicken landraces in the Horn of Africa. Or maybe earlier for chicken after all.
There’s been a spate of papers on reforestation just lately and I was despairing of being able to keep track of them, let alone read them. But along comes Jonah Busch, Chief Economist at Earth Innovation, to make sense of all the maps in a couple of tweets:
Here are maps of reforestation's potential, feasibility and benefits, and costs pic.twitter.com/fK3jyFPjSr
— Jonah Busch (@jonahbusch) July 5, 2019
Here are the papers:
- Potential: The global tree restoration potential.
- Opportunities: Global restoration opportunities in tropical rainforest landscapes.
- Costs: Potential for low-cost carbon dioxide removal through tropical reforestation.
LATER: There’s a nice round-up of two of the studies in Mother Nature Network. Bottom line is in the title: Massive reforestation might be the moonshot we need to slow down climate change. That doesn’t mean forests are a silver bullet, though.