- Prof. Gayle J. Fritz gets 2020 Mary W. Klinger Book Award for “Feeding Cahokia.” Beyond maize and priests.
- The ups and downs of grape varieties. Airén relinquishes the top spot! So much data: who will calculate diversity stats?
- Nice, long podcast on the beginning of farming in the Fertile Crescent. More coming up.
- “Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table” is the sort of cookbook we all need.
- What is it about floating gardens? Quite a lot, really. But they are not easily transplanted, as it were.
A large body of research shows that biodiversity loss can reduce ecosystem functioning.
You don’t say. Several years ago we half-heartedly attempted to summarize the literature here a couple of times. We’ve sort of given up on that of late: there’s just too much of it. But there is a fundamental problem with this literature…
…much of the evidence for this relationship is drawn from biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments in which biodiversity loss is simulated by randomly assembling communities of varying species diversity, and ecosystem functions are measured.
Fear not, though, help is at hand. The two quotes above are from the abstract of a paper bearing the following title.
- Remembering Robin Graham, prophet of biofortification.
- Honouring plant breeder supreme Fred Blisss.
- Need to produce seed of all those new varieties that breeders come up with.
- And save the stuff they will replace: The Economist does the potatoes of Chiloé.
- Hey, it’s not just about the crops: conserving goats on farm in India.
- The experimental archaeology of bread thrives under corona. And if you were intrigued by the potato detoxification reference, find the details on Bill Schindler’s website. And not only bread and potatoes, also beer…
- Like Mozart’s oat beer? Which was apparently killed off by lager back in Austria but is now available in Denver.
- Food shouldn’t be cheap, it should be affordable, and not only for those who consume it. Ancient Egyptian bread will be exempted.
- No way Kenyan coffee can be described as cheap. h/t Jeremy’s newsletter: have you subscribed yet?
- I don’t know how cheap mungbean is in Myanmar, but it seems to be very valuable.
- The PNG singing dog is not extinct in the wild after all? Priceless.
- Combination of key and photo guide to the identification of European fungi. Worth its weight in truffles. Source.
- A research vision for food systems in the 2020s: Defying the status quo. Research is necessary but not sufficient.
- Dismantling a dogma: the inflated significance of neutral genetic diversity in conservation genetics. Not all genetic diversity is created equal.
- A re‐evaluation of the domestication bottleneck from archaeogenomic evidence. Not so much a single bottleneck “event” on domestication, as serial bottlenecks post-domestication. Another dogma dismantled?
- Morphological and genetic diversity of Slovene lettuce landrace ‘Ljubljanska ledenka’ (Lactuca sativa L.). Not all iceberg is created equal.
- Genetic Status of the Swedish Central collection of heirloom apple cultivars. Neutral diversity is not completely useless, though?
- Understanding genetic variability in the mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) genepool. It may not be neutral variation, but it’s not associated with geography. If you see what I mean.
- A Land Evaluation Framework for Agricultural Diversification. Soil and climate data –> fancy maths –> pretty good prediction of where you find a crop.
- A unifying concept of animal breeding programs. You can describe any breeding programme by using graph theory. But would it help?
- Molecular and isotopic evidence for milk, meat, and plants in prehistoric eastern African herder food systems. Chemical and isotope analysis of lipids on ceramic shards shows early herding societies had a pretty diverse diet.
- Pre-Clovis occupation of the Americas identified by human fecal biomarkers in coprolites from Paisley Caves, Oregon. Lipids again, this time at the other end of the process, and of the world.
- Identification of novel seed longevity genes related to oxidative stress and seed coat by genome‐wide association studies and reverse genetics. Seeds need to take their antioxidants.
- Evaluation of genetic integrity of pearl millet seeds during aging by genomic-SSR markers. Loss of viability leads to loss of diversity.
- Geographical distribution of quinoa crop wild relatives in the Peruvian Andes: a participatory mapping initiative. Cultivated land is as important as more “natural” ecosystems for quinoa wild relatives.
- Global wind patterns and the vulnerability of wind-dispersed species to climate change. In the tropics, and in the lee of mountains, wind-dispersed species will find it more difficult to reach places with suitable future climates.
- Identification and Control of Latent Bacteria in in vitro Cultures of Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam]. 10% of about 2400 in vitro plantlets had a total of about 20 types of bacteria, some of which might be beneficial for all we know, but all of which could be removed.
- Genome-wide genotyping elucidates the geographical diversification and dispersal of the polyploid and clonally propagated yam (Dioscorea alata L.). Asian and Pacific genepools, thence to India, then Africa, then the Caribbean.
- Multi-parent populations in crops: a toolbox integrating genomics and genetic mapping with breeding. Like MAGIC.
- Genetic and genomic resources, and breeding for accelerating improvement of small millets: current status and future interventions. Here’s all the promising material, now go crazy with the MAGIC.
- Plural valuation of nature for equity and sustainability: Insights from the Global South. The road to decolonizing conservation.
- Long-Term Storage and Longevity of Orthodox Seeds: A Systematic Review. Treat your seeds right.
- Changes in food access by mestizo communities associated with deforestation and agrobiodiversity loss in Ucayali, Peruvian Amazon. Less diversified diets, loss of forest cover and reduced agricultural biodiversity go together, somehow.
- Evaluation of Wild Potato Germplasm for Tuber Starch Content and Nitrogen Utilization Efficiency. Wild species are better on both counts.
- Conservation protocols for Ensete glaucum, a crop wild relative of banana, using plant tissue culture and cryopreservation techniques on seeds and zygotic embryos. 2 accessions thus conserved at NBPGR.
- Computational models to improve surveillance for cassava brown streak disease and minimize yield loss. Fancy maths shows that planting clean material helps a lot.
- Genome wide association analysis of a stemborer egg induced “call-for-help” defence trait in maize. “…egg-induced parasitoid attraction trait was more common in landraces than in improved inbred lines and hybrids.”
- Low Additive Genetic Variation in a Trait Under Selection in Domesticated Rice. That would be root growth under drought and Al stress conditions. Every accession has a different set of low frequency causal alleles.