- RICA: A rice crop calendar for Asia based on MODIS multi year data. RiceAtlas validated. Still trying to figure out how to mash it up with genebank accession locality data though. Any GIS geniuses out there to help me?
- AEGIS, the Virtual European Genebank: Why It Is Such a Good Idea, Why It Is Not Working and How It Could Be Improved. Certify genebanks, that’s how.
- Reap the crop wild relatives for breeding future crops. Needs good data and certified genebanks. Plus gene editing.
- Opportunities and Challenges to Improve a Public Research Program in Plant Breeding and Enhance Underutilized Plant Genetic Resources in the Tropics. Needs better social networking. Plus better data and certified genebanks, presumably.
- From seed to sequence: Dematerialization and the battle to (re)define genetic resources. Ah yes, data.
- Current Advancements and Limitations of Gene Editing in Orphan Crops. Ah yes, gene editing.
- Revitalizing Traditional Agricultural Practices: Conscious Efforts to Create a More Satisfying Culture. Meanwhile, in Sweden…
- Sacred natural sites and biodiversity conservation: a systematic review. Of course sacred sites are good for biodiversity. But it’s always good to have the data.
- Global relationships between crop diversity and nutritional stability. Sacred sites are not enough, alas.
- Preserving local biodiversity through crop diversification. Crop diversity is even good for birds…
- Concentrating vs. spreading our footprint: how to meet humanity’s needs at least cost to nature. …but, overall intensification of agriculture coupled with sparing land for conservation (maybe even in sacred sites) is the best approach for wildlife. And humanity, for that matter. So, back to needing better data from certified genebanks, so we can get that intensification done, right?
- Quantifying the scale of genetic diversity extinction in the Anthropocene. Right!
The team reviewed hundreds of primary literature sources published over the last 80 years that examine potential crop diversity loss, also called “genetic erosion”. The global collaborative effort found that 95% of all studies reported diversity change, and almost 80% found evidence of loss.
The most interesting (but, to be fair, unsurprising) thing to me though, apart from our evidence base still being fairly limited for many crops and regions, was the variation in the magnitude of loss, which depended hugely “on species, taxonomic and geographic scale, and region, as well as analytical approach.”
What’s to be done? Well, I won’t kid you, it won’t be easy.
Reversing the trajectory of crop genetic erosion requires more profound change – no less than reorganizing global agriculture, and food systems, and even the human societies they nourish, to become diversity-supportive processes… Crop diversity must be valued not only as a genetic resource to be exploited, but just as much for its cultural and ecological values… This implies a (re)integration of species, varietal and genetic diversity into agricultural systems, both temporally and spatially, as well as the (re)establishment of local autonomy and markets supporting the processes that foster the ongoing evolution of this diversity.
So let’s roll up our sleeves, yes? As, for example2, Vijay Jardhari and his friends have done in Uttarakhand. And Vivien Sansour is doing in Palestine. And Charity Lanoi is doing in Kenya. And Hamidou Falalou and his ICRISAT colleagues are doing in Chad. And as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault hopes to do in the next few months up in the Arctic.
Because, as a nicely complementary paper by Moises Exposito-Alonso and co-authors also pointed out in the past few days, though referring to 19 wild plant and animal species, “over 10% of genetic diversity may be extinct” already.
— Moi Exposito-Alonso (@MExpositoAlonso) October 15, 2021
- Seeds of resilience: the contribution of commons-based plant breeding and seed production to the social-ecological resilience of the agricultural sector. A seed production commons is good for agroecology and resilience. At least in the German-speaking vegetable sector. Yeah, but give them an inch…
- Crop Diversity Management System Commons: Revisiting the Role of Genebanks in the Network of Crop Diversity Actors. …and they’ll take a mile.
- Changing patterns in genebank acquisitions of crop genetic materials: An analysis of global policy drivers and potential consequences. Maybe it would be good if they took that mile.
- Seeds as natural capital. This is the mile we’re talking about. It’s worth fighting for.
- A Critical Review of the Current Global Ex Situ Conservation System for Plant Agrobiodiversity. II. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Current System and Recommendations for Its Improvement. It has become a really complicated mile.
- Uses and benefits of digital sequence information from plant genetic resources: Lessons learnt from botanical collections. And this makes it even more complicated.
- Impact of climate change on biodiversity and food security: a global perspective—a review article. Yeah, but look what happens if we don’t do something.
- Agrobiodiversity Index scores show agrobiodiversity is underutilized in national food systems. And we’re certainly not doing enough.
- Endangered Wild Crop Relatives of the Fertile Crescent. See what I mean?
- Crop diversity is associated with higher child diet diversity in Ethiopia, particularly among low-income households, but not in Vietnam. Sure, I know it’s complicated…
- Insights into the genetic basis of the pre-breeding potato clones developed at the Julius Kühn Institute for high and durable late blight resistance. …but just look what’s possible with a little effort…
- Spatiotemporal seed transfer zones as an efficient restoration strategy in response to climate change. …and a little thinking. Well, a lot of effort and thinking.
- Current Advancements and Limitations of Gene Editing in Orphan Crops. And on top of all that, we have this to look forward to.
- Inactivation of the germacrene A synthase genes by CRISPR/Cas9 eliminates the biosynthesis of sesquiterpene lactones in Cichorium intybus L. Well actually it’s already here.
- Living standards shape individual attitudes on genetically modified food around the world. Maybe if they were in a commons? Wait, isn’t this where we started?
- Waive CRISPR patents to meet food needs in low-income countries. It does look like it.
- The story of the potato in Poland.
- The story of one man’s obsession with the pear.
- Nice extract from Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino. Get the whole book to get the full story!
- Free version of the classic Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions by Philip McMichael. The story? “Revaluing of food system diversity, and public and planetary health, reformulates the current agrarian question, rejecting food regime capital-centrism.”