- The development of the international center model for agricultural research: A prehistory of the CGIAR. The model didn’t start with those canonical US foundations, and owes more than a little to colonialism. Further integration is needed.
- Document or Lose It—On the Importance of Information Management for Genetic Resources Conservation in Genebanks. Standardization, openness and interoperability. Easier said than done, but if you’re looking for further integration…
- AI-powered banana diseases and pest detection. But can it tell bananas from plantains? Nice to link it up with the above.
- Crop Wild Relatives as Germplasm Resource for Cultivar Improvement in Mint (Mentha L.). 450 clones representing 34 taxa maintained by USDA. The next 2 are USDA things too.
- Germplasm Development of Underutilized Temperate U.S. Tree Crops. Sure, introduce species from abroad, but if they have local wild relatives you have another route to adaptation. Take the hazelnut, for example…
- Subspecies Variation of Daucus carota Coastal (“Gummifer”) Morphotypes (Apiaceae) Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing. One morphology and niche, 5 genetic groups.
- Comparisons of sampling methods for assessing intra- and inter-accession genetic diversity in three rice species using genotyping by sequencing. Some differences in results among sampling methods, but not huge.
- Combining ability analysis on rhizomatousness via incomplete diallel crosses between perennial wild relative of rice and Asian cultivated rice. If you want perennial cultivated(ish) rice, you have to pick your parents carefully.
- Something old, something new: Evolution of Colombian weedy rice (Oryza spp.) through de novo de‐domestication, exotic gene flow, and hybridization. Weedy rice is just local domesticated rice gone bad, at least in Colombia. Gosh I hope that perennial rice doesn’t get de-domesticated.
- It’s not just poverty: unregulated global market and bad governance explain unceasing deforestation in Western Madagascar. Stop blaming subsistence slash-and-burn.
- Climate change enforces to look beyond the plant – the example of pollinators. Create nice conditions for pollinators on farms, it’ll be worth it.
- Paternal Origins and Migratory Episodes of Domestic Sheep. 4 parental lineages, one with primitive features and another with fat tails.
- Women and Fish-for-Sex: Transactional Sex, HIV/AIDS and Gender in African Fisheries. Teach a man to fish, FFS.
- Use of Untargeted Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Metabolome To Discriminate Italian Monovarietal Red Wines, Produced in Their Different Terroirs. A little wine with your fish? Ah no, wait, these are all reds. But at least you can tell them apart now.
What can you do about inbreeding in a small population of a species that nearly went extinct? Well, if the species is Przewalski’s horse, one thing you can do is inject some new diversity into the genepool by cloning a genetically very distinct stallion whose cells you happened to put in liquid nitrogen forty years ago. The whole amazing story is on the website of the Revive & Restore project.
This is huge. The first cloning for conservation.
It's a male Przewalski's horse ("shuh-VAL-ski") from 40 years ago, now revived to help enrich the genomes of the whole wild population.
— Stewart Brand (@stewartbrand) September 5, 2020
The new foal’s name is Kurt. Why?
Kurt is named in honor of Dr. Kurt Benirshke, a geneticist at the San Diego Zoo who in 1975 had a prescient idea. Dr. Benirshke began what is now the Frozen Zoo, collecting and cryopreserving the cell lines of endangered species and safely storing away genetic diversity before it was lost. At the time the collection was a bet on cloning and reproductive technologies that did not yet exist. Nearly fifty years later, with the partnership of San Diego Zoo Global Frozen Zoo, Revive & Restore, and ViaGen Pets and Equine, Dr. Benirschke’s plans are quite literally coming to life.
h/t Beth Shapiro.
LATER: A bit more background on Przewalski’s horse just out.
- Using remote sensing to assess the effect of trees on millet yield in complex parklands of Central Senegal. Tree cover in the landscape of up to 35% increases pearl millet yields.
- Genetic and genomic resources for improving proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.): a potential crop for food and nutritional security. All that’s missing is the investment. And, possibly, the trees.
- A high-quality genome of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott), one of the world’s oldest crops. Has benefitted from two whole-genome duplications. Now that this investment has been made, I expect to see the crop take off.
- Key traits and genes associate with salinity tolerance independent from vigor in cultivated sunflower. There is a way to increase yield under salinity stress without affecting yield under more benign conditions. Millets and taro should take note.
- Sustainable Cucurbit Breeding and Production in Asia Using Public–Private Partnerships by the World Vegetable Center. WorldVeg presents improved lines and F1 hybrids of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), tropical pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata), ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula) and sponge gourd (Luffa cylindrica) to private sector breeders at Crop Field Days. Everybody wins. But are there any private sector breeders of millets and taro to take note?
- Crop Wild Phylorelatives (CWPs): phylogenetic distance, cytogenetic compatibility and breeding system data enable estimation of crop wild relative gene pool classification. Predicting crossability of a crop with its wild relatives from whatever data is on hand.
- Evolution and domestication of the Bovini species. They’ve been very promiscuous, and the results can be summarized in one illustration.
- Defining diet quality: a synthesis of dietary quality metrics and their validity for the double burden of malnutrition. Seven dietary metrics out there, none of them perfect.
- Assessing nutritional, health, and environmental sustainability dimensions of agri-food production. Here’s how to make nutrition and health metrics better. Maybe these guys should get together with the above?
- Aztec diets at the residential site of San Cristobal Ecatepec through stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bone collagen. The men drank more pulque than the women. I wonder if 500 years from now they’ll be judging us like this.
- The unique role of seed banking and cryobiotechnologies in plant conservation. Good summary of the different ex situ approaches available for plants, none of them perfect. The existence of an Exceptional Plant Conservation Network and a Project Baseline for seed genebanks was news to me.
- Making the post-2020 global biodiversity framework a successful tool for building biodiverse, inclusive, resilient and safe food systems for all. The CBD needs to learn to love mixed, diverse agricultural landscapes. And genebanks, natch. Maybe it should invest in dietary metrics.
- The Role of Genetic Resources in Breeding for Climate Change: The Case of Public Breeding Programmes in Eighteen Developing Countries. Business as usual, except more intense. Oh, and perhaps more use of landraces. No word on dietary metrics.