Brainfood: Software edition

Nibbles: Cider exhibit, Dog domestication, Nordic rye, Orkney barley, Tunisian wheat, IPR in Kenya, Future Seeds, Seed & herbarium resources

  1. The Museum of Cider has an exhibition on “A Variety of Cultures.”
  2. Nice podcast rounding up the latest on dog domestication.
  3. Useful summary of the history of rye in the Nordic countries since it replaced barley in the Medieval period.
  4. They didn’t give up barley in the Outer Hebrides.
  5. The Tunisian farmer goes back to wheat landraces (I think).
  6. The Kenyan farmers who want to exchange landraces.
  7. El Colombiano visits Future Seeds, evokes The Walking Dead.
  8. Seed saving resources from the California Seed Bank and the herbarium at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brainfood: Archaeology edition

Canaries in the genetic coal mine

Specialism in science being what it is, it’s understandably unusual to see papers which combine combine analysis of genetic diversity in humans over time with that of crops, or indeed livestock. It’s less understandable why it should also be unusual in science journalism, and examples should be celebrated. So hats off to Warren Cornwall for his very readable synthesis in Science of the history of human and crop genetic diversity in the Canaries over the past two thousand years. Well worth a read.


    The genomic history of the indigenous people of the Canary Islands.
    The demography of the Canary Islands from a genetic perspective.
    Demographic history of Canary Islands male gene-pool: replacement of native lineages by European.
    An Evolutionary Approach to the History of Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Cultivation in the Canary Islands.
    Farmer fidelity in the Canary Islands revealed by ancient DNA from prehistoric seeds.
    Agriculture and crop dispersal in the western periphery of the Old World: the Amazigh/Berber settling of the Canary Islands (ca. 2nd–15th centuries CE).

In memory of Rainer Schultze-Kraft

Reproduced from Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales with permission.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Rainer Schultze-Kraft, a friend, colleague and mentor, whose experience and in depth understanding of tropical forages made him an outstanding forage scientist. Rainer dedicated his career to tropical forage research and development, working at CIAT and University of Hohenheim. He was an avid germplasm collector and added almost 10,000 forage accessions to global collections. He was one of the original team to work on the tropical forages interactive selection tool to support use of forages and one of the founders of the journal, acting as managing editor and guiding the journal through the early years. His passing leaves a big gap in the tropical forages community that will be hard to fill and he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

There is also an obituary on the website of the Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT.