- Food contributes 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions.
- How we got to the above.
- And a focus on how farming started in South Asia in particular.
- A long-term seed experiment carries on.
- Another chapter in the story of the comeback of the American chestnut?
- Want to help a heirloom make a comeback?
- There’s a newsletter on the law and policy behind all this stuff.
Seems like it’s probably worth recapping the whole new-species-will-save-your-morning-coffee-from-climate-change story that’s been going around.
It all started last year with a paper describing the rediscovery in the wilds of Sierra Leone of a species of coffee that used to be very well liked but then fell out of commercial favour due to low yields. It’s called Coffea stenophylla1 and of course Jeremy did a podcast about it, interviewing one of the authors of said paper, the very engaging Prof. Jeremy Haggar.
Fast forward a year and we now have a follow-up paper assessing the taste of coffee made from beans of C. stenophylla from that (very tiny, alas) wild population in Sierra Leone and also from a (more substantial) CIRAD research stand in La Reunion. And guess what? It’s really good. So of course Jeremy went back to Prof. Haggar for another nice chat.
C. stenophylla grows in hot and humid lowlands, so it’s a little more ready for climate change than your average arabica.2 Still, the yield issue is presumably still there, and no doubt other problems will arise, as they always do. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because I really want to taste the stuff — and boost Sierra Leonean business along the way.
Oh and of course we’ll have to revise the global coffee diversity conservation strategy now…
- Yay Big Agriculture!
- Don’t listen to them: yay agroecology!
- Come down everyone, DW with the balanced view on open seeds.
- Meanwhile, there’s a project to document all the garlic varieties grown in Canada.
- And the Community Seed Network is hard at work.
- All those seeds are going to have to be kept alive: this is how the CGIAR genebanks do it.
- Morocco thinks about legalizing kif.
- Need help phenotyping your kif, Morocco?
- Soon there will be lots of sequence information on that kif, and then you’ll need a way to regulate access, and this study for the European Commission might help.
- Ok you’ll need a palate cleanser after that, I suspect: Roman gardens, perhaps?
- Collecting and regenerating populations of the Allium ampeloprasum complex from Greece. There’s some good news, and some bad news.
- Genomic prediction models trained with historical records enable populating the German ex situ genebank bio-digital resource center of barley (Hordeum sp.) with information on resistances to soilborne barley mosaic viruses. Good news if you want to get usable data on genebank accession from old experiments.
- Using Genome-Wide Predictions to Assess the Phenotypic Variation of a Barley (Hordeum sp.) Gene Bank Collection for Important Agronomic Traits and Passport Information. Good news if you thought the above was good news.
- Reproductive compatibility in Capsicum is not necessarily reflected in genetic or phenotypic similarity between species complexes. Bad news for the genepool concept.
- Trends in Varietal Diversity of Main Staple Crops in Asia and Africa and Implications for Sustainable Food Systems. Bad news, especially for Asia, if you like to see diversity on farm.
- Broadening the genetic base of cultivated chickpea following introgression of wild Cicer species-progress, constraints and prospects. Good news if you like to see diversity in chickpea breeding.
- DeepCob: Precise and high-throughput analysis of maize cob geometry using deep learning with an application in genebank phenomics. Great news if you’ve got a whole bunch of maize cobs to measure.
- Demonstration of local adaptation of maize landraces by reciprocal transplantation. Good news if you think landraces are locally adapted.
- Exaptation Traits for Megafaunal Mutualisms as a Factor in Plant Domestication. Good news if you want to learn a new word. Fascinating stuff, all kidding apart.
- Morphological and reproductive characterization of nascent allotetraploids cross-compatible with cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Good news if you like the idea of re-running domestication and there’s no suitable megafauna available.
- Parallel and Intertwining Threads of Domestication in Allopolyploid Cotton. Good news if you’re interested in the domestication, spread, and introgression of the 2 New World cottons.
- Can public universities play a role in fostering seed sovereignty? The good news is the answer is yes.
- Ecosystem integrity is neither real nor valuable. The good news is this may be a straw man. Interesting argument, though.
- Prospects and limitations of genomic offset in conservation management. Good news if you abandon the concept of ecosystem integrity.
- Higher yields and more biodiversity on smaller farms. Good news if you still think small is beautiful.
- Do small food businesses enable small farms to connect to regional food systems? Evidence from 9 European regions. More good news for small farms.
- Global Legal Constraints: How the International System Fails Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity, Harming Human and Planetary Health, and What to Do About It. Bad news for the agri-food-industrial complex, come the revolution.
- Actions on sustainable food production and consumption for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Subsidy reform, valuation, food waste reduction, sustainability standards, life cycle assessments, sustainable diets, mainstreaming biodiversity and strengthening governance. Easy, then, I guess.
- Farming System for Nutrition-a pathway to dietary diversity: Evidence from India. Well at least mainstreaming biodiversity is very easy, it seems.
- Unpacking the value of traditional African vegetables for food and nutrition security. Not so fast. African leafy greens have come a long way, but there’s still a bit of mainstreaming to go.
- Wild insect diversity increases inter-annual stability in global crop pollinator communities. Mainstreaming biodiversity should include pollinators.
- First the seed: Genomic advances in seed science for improved crop productivity and food security. Yeah, but it starts with seeds.
- Pluralistic Seed System Development: A Path to Seed Security? Though sometimes the seeds don’t get to who needs them.
- Farmers’ Perception about the Use of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Landraces and Their Genetic Erosion in South Wollo Administrative Zone, Ethiopia. Sorghum landraces could do with some mainstreaming. Maybe pluralistic seed systems would help.
- Phenotypic variation and adaptation in morphology and salt spray tolerance in coastal and inland populations of Setaria viridis in central Japan. Mainstreaming diversity in a crop may involve protecting the habitats of its wild relatives.
- Maize germplasm chronosequence shows crop breeding history impacts recruitment of the rhizosphere microbiome. And not in a good way. Looks like mainstreaming biodiversity should also include the root microbiome.
- Farm animal genetic resources and the COVID-19 pandemic. Agroecology is the high road to mainstreaming farm animal biodiversity.
- Genetic data inform Yosemite National Park’s apple orchard management guidelines. Mainstreaming biodiversity in action.