Brainfood: Accessibility data smorgasbord, Microclimate megadataset, Breeding strategies, Aeroponic cassava, Jatropha conservation, Wheat diversity, Botanic gardens, Polyploid duo, Rhizosphere symbiosis, Selfing niches, Pepper priorities, Eggplant core, Ipomoea evolution, Kenyan supermarkets

The world’s largest sorghum genebanks

USDA … Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit located in Griffin, Ga., is home to over 100,000 accessions of preserved plant germplasm including the largest collection of sorghum germplasm in the world.

Well that’s the kind of statement that I just have to fact-check. It’s a little difficult to be entirely sure, Genebank Database Hell being what it is, but I think perhaps the ICRISAT genebank edges it. At least if you go by what’s in Genesys. IND002 is ICRISAT, USA016 the USDA Griffin genebank.

But, of course, it’s not just about the numbers. Only 20% or so of the accessions are geo-referenced, but mapping what data there is does suggest that there are interesting complementarities between the two collections (ICRISAT in red, USDA in blue — click on the map to see it better).

Anyway, do read the rest of the article in Seed World, there’s interesting stuff in there, and what’s a couple thousand sorghum accessions between friends anyway.

Yes, we have plenty of banana information, take 2

A new version of the Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS) is out. There’s more data, tools for better curation, a way to search for accessions cited in the literature, and re-organized menus. Do check it out. MGIS data eventually makes its way to Genesys.

And since I’m here, it’s worth noting that the banana is uniquely well-endowed with information resources. In addition to MGIS, there’s a whole slew of other databases and assorted information products, thanks to the wonder that is ProMusa.

ProMusa is a network of people promoting scientific discussions on bananas.

In alliance with the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the network organizes scientific symposia (reported in proceedings) to help its members stay up-to-date on the latest research developments and encourage collaborations within and between disciplines.

When not meeting face-to-face, ProMusa members stay in touch using the network’s mailing list.

This website is the network’s online platform, which offers news, knowledge and information on bananas.

The centrepiece is Musapedia, “an online, collaboratively built compendium of knowledge on bananas.” But there are also databases of scientific literature, images and contacts. And an excellent news area — InfoMus@.

You can follow — and interact with — ProMusa on Facebook and Twitter. I can’t think of a crop that has anything similarly comprehensive. It really should be your first port of call for anything to do with bananas.

BTW, the title of this post refers to a previous foray into banana information resources.