- ‘White gold’ guano fertilizer drove agricultural intensification in the Atacama Desert from ad 1000. And maize was at the heart of it.
- What’s new during the first millennium BCE in Greece? Archaeobotanical results from Olynthos and Sikyon. Not maize, alas, but what you’d expect, plus pine and sesame.
- Local adaptation contributes to gene expression divergence in maize. Stress-response genes are the ones which have been selected. No word on whether any of them were important in the Atacama.
- Genotyping tools and resources to assess peanut germplasm: smut-resistant landraces as a case study. Ok, so it sounds like the resistant line that was previously used is virtually identical to an accession in the USDA collection.
- Do We Need to Identify Adaptive Genetic Variation When Prioritizing Populations for Conservation? No, but we’ll need it to prioritize use, surely?
- Incorporating Realistic Trait Physiology into Crop Growth Models to Support Genetic Improvement. We’ll need better growth models too.
- Wild to domesticates: genomes of edible diploid bananas hold traces of several undefined genepools. 3 of them, in fact, in both SE Asia and New Guinea.
- Evolution of the bread wheat D-subgenome and enriching it with diversity from Aegilops tauschii. Three lineages were involved in the hybridizations that led to bread wheat. Coincidence?
- De novo genome assembly of two tomato ancestors, Solanum pimpinellifolium and Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, by long-read sequencing. Thousands of genes not found in the cultivated crop, apparently.
- Genomic mechanisms of climate adaptation in polyploid bioenergy switchgrass. Introgression from the northern genepool (one of three) was really important in adaptation after the glaciers retreated. Gene duplication also involved in adaptation.
- Economic Studies Reinforce Efforts to Safeguard Specialty Crops in the United States. Where “safeguard” means “provide clean planting material.”
- Comparative analysis of genetic diversity of rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties cultivated in different periods in China. Diversity went up, then down, between the 1980s and the 2010s.
- Wheat Varietal Diversification Increases Ethiopian Smallholders’ Food Security: Evidence from a Participatory Development Initiative. Why the diversity in breeding programmes is important, and how farmer participation can help maintain it.
- The tricot citizen science approach applied to on-farm variety evaluation: methodological progress and perspectives. How to do the above.
- Biodiversity and conservation of Phoenix canariensis: a review. A wild relative in trouble, and what to do about it.
- Tropical and Mediterranean biodiversity is disproportionately sensitive to land-use and climate change. As can be seen from the above.
Twitter is often a hellsite, but every once in a while, it really comes through. Case in point is this cool summary of a recent paper on the genetics and physiology of seed dormancy in common beans posted by one of the authors, Dr David Lowry.
I just wanted to take a moment to highlight the key results and story behind the science of a recent collaborative study out of my lab that was published this past week on the evolution of seed dormancy in common bean. https://t.co/CZQH2Gk1Ej
— David B. Lowry (@DavidBLowry) January 24, 2021
Now, I know some of you are not going to want to click on the above, so here it is in ThreadReader. And if you just want the bottom line…
- New technologies to improve the ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources. Genebanks need to catch up with the latest science even just to maintain their seeds.
- Advanced Strategic Research to Promote the Use of Rice Genetic Resources. High-throughput phenotyping and genome sequencing are the latest science that will make the most of those seeds.
- Phased diploid genome assemblies and pan-genomes provide insights into the genetic history of apple domestication. Analysis of genomes of two main wild progenitors plus the crop uncovers genes so far untapped for improvement.
- The elephant grass (Cenchrus purpureus) genome provides insights into anthocyanidin accumulation and fast growth. It’s related to pearl millet, apparently. Which may or may not be a good thing. No word on any genes so far untapped for improvement.
- Triticum population sequencing provides insights into wheat adaptation. Wide adaptation is largely due to introgression from the wild. No word on any genes so far untapped for improvement.
- The Right Tortilla for the Right Occasion: Variation in Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Blue Maize Tortillas Based on Utilization. Consumers are willing to pay 42% more for blue tortillas, but only when eating out, presumably as part of virtue signalling.
- 30 years of free‐air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE): What have we learned about future crop productivity and its potential for adaptation? That enrichment wont save us, that’s what.
- Phenotypic Divergence Analysis in Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh] Germplasm Accessions. From 81 accessions to 9 promising ones, at least for Malawi.
- A model for the domestication of Panicum miliaceum (common, proso or broomcorn millet) in China. Domestication took 3000 years.
- Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs. All dogs are descendants of a now extinct wolf population, and their genetics show both interesting parallels with, and divergences from, that of humans.
- Brain Size Does Not Rescue Domestication Syndrome. Not even for humans, I suspect. Kidding apart, this is fascinating. It suggests that, for animals at least, the domestication syndrome is not actually a thing. Or at least has not been properly tested. If there’s interest, I’ll do a full post. Let me know in the comments below.
- Ancient genomes reveal tropical bovid species in the Tibetan Plateau contributed to the prevalence of hunting game until the late Neolithic. The now tropical gaur ranged much further north during the warmer Neolithic, which facilitated the exploration of the Tibetan Plateau.
- Optimization of in vitro germination and cryopreservation conditions for preserving date palm pollen in the USDA National Plant Germplasm System. Always good to have another way of storing germplasm.
- Beyond the material: knowledge aspects in seed commoning. Comparing global with local seed commons reveals importance of managing knowledge, both scientific and traditional.
- Genetics to the rescue: managing forests sustainably in a changing world. To manage forests sustainably, you have to conserve and use their genetic diversity. Interesting that they needed a conference to work that out.
- Genetic mixing for population management: from genetic rescue to provenancing. And using that genetic diversity could mean mixing it up.
- The importance of genomic variation for biodiversity, ecosystems and people. Maintaining ecosystem services means maintaining genetic diversity. Sounds like these authors went to the same conference.