- Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities—a 2016 survey of California seed libraries. 6456 seed packets borrowed annually by 4776 from >100 seed libraries, with a 6% return rate.
- Vegetables production and marketing: practice and perception of vegetable seed producers and fresh growers in Nepal. Producers like hybrids, consumers prefer open pollinated varieties. Oh, and drying is a problem.
- Exploiting ecosystem services in agriculture for increased food security. Services don’t include crop diversity, apparently.
- Molecular Diversity Analysis for Zinc Deficiency Tolerance under Aerobic Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Ecosystem. Two major groups.
- Developing Mini Core of Rice Germplasm for Submergence Tolerance. Really mini. Maybe too mini?
- CIMMYT’s Seeds of Discovery Initiative: Harnessing Biodiversity for Food Security and Sustainable Development. A “visionary investment.”
- Temporal change of Distance to Nature index for anthropogenic influence monitoring in a protected area and its buffer zone. I want a Distance to Genebank index.
- Indigenous knowledge and household food security: the role of root and tuber crops among indigenous peoples in the Northern Philippines. The youth are losing it.
- Decline of genetic diversity in ancient domestic stallions in Europe. It was artificial selection during the Iron Age.
I’ve come across a number of banana-related resources lately, so I thought I’d pull them all together in one post.
First, there’s CropMapper.org, from Bioversity, which “aims to collect, to make available and to share spatial information on global banana production in a single centralized database.”
Then there’s “Banana natural biodiversity mapping,” from iNaturalist. It’s objective is “to map the distribution of CWRs and landraces in primary and secondary centers of diversity” through crowdsourcing. Which I suppose could eventually be added to the more conventionally sourced data in the CWR Atlas.
And finally there’s blog post from IITA describing a project to document banana diversity in the Democratic Republic of Congo using morphological traits that have been overlooked in the past. I assume the data will find its way into the Musa Germplasm Information System. And thence to Genesys.
All these contribute to answering a question that I asked here back in 2010: Where do bananas grow anyway? What I still don’t see, though, is a way to bring all this information together in one place.
And, given that there’s collecting going on as we speak, for example, the information — and the need — will only grow:
Researchers from the Meise Botanic Garden (Belgium), Plant Resources Center (Vietnam) and Millenium Seed Bank (UK) are in northern Vietnam to study and collect wild bananas. Follow their progress at #banana_expedition_2018. https://t.co/FIVObVECRS
— ProMusa (@promusa_banana) April 19, 2018
Yeah, yeah, it’s been quiet here for the best part of a month. Work, you know. When you notice lack of action here, though, that doesn’t mean that I’m being completely idle. Not always, anyway. Check on Twitter and Facebook, if you dare, and you’ll see new stuff on a fairly regular basis, because that’s easier to do than a fully-fledged blog post. Anyway, what I’ll do here is a mega-Nibble hoovering up snippets from the past few weeks that I posted on social media but not here.
- Vegetable History 101.
- If you have a heirloom of one of the above to name, try this neural network approach.
- Just as long as the name doesn’t end up being racist.
- It’s too late for some German veggies. Though not, it seems, for German forests. What’s the difference?
- Not yet too late for Tanzanian wild veggies, but winter is coming. Maybe giving them cool names would help.
- And for some North American indigenous crops too, thanks to some committed people.
- And for beans in Mexico for that matter.
- Why all the above is important.
- And urgent.
- And this is the resulting problem if you ignore that lesson.
- You see, the Australians are on the case, with their bush tucker fixation.
- Mind you, it’s not all sweetness and light: the quinoa bubble bursts.
- Maybe we can make a game of this diversification lark. Oh, look, it seems we can.
- You can even breed for it.
- Wherein I pontificate about genebank data. Again.
- Maybe these guys will listen?
- These guys obviously did, and built a better peanut.
- Yeah, but can you see them from space?
- The cost of ending hunger. The cost of ensuring crop diversity conservation in genebanks seems, well, peanuts.
- The archaeology of gardens. Two of my favourite topics, combined. If only there was beer too. And peanuts.
- A banana is a banana is a banana. Not.
- All those bananas? You can help to map them.
- They’ll put them on Google Earth next, like Kew did for these beautiful natural areas, with all their crop wild relatives :)
- A Japanese agricultural encyclopaedia. Illustrated to boot.
- Or, for the more Euro-centric, food art at the Met…
- This cheese should probably be at the Met there too.
- And this weed strain may well soon be on sale in the gift shop.
- The sweet potato made it to Oceania on its own.
- Oh no it didn’t.
- On the other hand, livestock generally need to be accompanied.
- All the yeast belong China.
Well, I decided to do it myself. Here’s the distribution of “iron-rich soils” in Nigeria and potentially affected rice area (the paper’s Fig. 8b), the latter coming from the SPAM project we have alluded to before as a source of data on crop cultivation.
The yellow rings are African rice landraces, the red dots all rice landraces, both from Genesys. If you click on the map, you’ll see it much better, and notice that there’s not much rice germplasm from the more brownish areas, denoting rice cultivation areas with Fe-richer soils. Should these be targets for collecting? Kind of depends if landraces are still grown in those places, but it’s a start.
- Human diets drive range expansion of megafauna-dispersed fruit species. Megafauna dropped the ball (or the fruit), humans picked it up and ran with it.
- Experimental evidence on payments for forest commons conservation. Maybe we should have paid the megafauna.
- Vegetable genetic resources in China. 3 genebanks, 36,000 accessions, 120 species, about 1000 distributions per year (to research units).
- A cost-effective ground pollination system for hybridization in tall coconut palms. I have seen the future of coconut pollination.
- Determinants of pastoral and agro-pastoral households’ participation in fodder production in Makueni and Kajiado Counties, Kenya. Household heads who are female, have access to extension services, or are members of social groups are more likely to go in for fodder production.
- Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation. Incredible to me that needs to be said.
- Development of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based SSRs in African nightshades: Tools for analyzing genetic diversity for conservation and breeding. Solanum scabrum and S. villosum separate nicely, and show much diversity.
- A natural adaptive syndrome as a model for the origins of cereal agriculture. Large seed, awns and monodominance.
- Development and Examination of Sweet Potato Flour Fortified with Indigenous Underutilized Seasonal Vegetables. Ticks all the boxes, lets call it divortification.