- Impact of Geographical Indication schemes on traditional knowledge in changing agricultural landscapes: An empirical analysis from Japan. GI encouraged sharing of traditional knowledge.
- Genetic diversity in British populations of Taxus baccata L.: Is the seedbank collection representative of the genetic variation in the wild? Yes, though marginal populations could be collected more.
- The miracle mix of Moringa: Status of Moringa research and development in Malawi. Needs breeding.
- New plant breeding technologies for food security. Genome editing, basically. Meet the new boss…
- Evolutionary agroecology: Trends in root architecture during wheat breeding. In China, wheat breeding has involved unconscious group selection for simpler, less branched, deeper roots in higher-yielding modern varieties.
- Root and shoot variation in relation to potential intermittent drought adaptation of Mesoamerican wild common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Deeper-rooted, and more drought-tolerant, wild beans are found in dry regions.
- Seedling traits predict drought-induced mortality linked to diversity loss. Species with longer seedling roots survive drought better.
- Is ecotourism a panacea? Political ecology perspectives from the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, India. Well, what do you think?
- Genotyping by sequencing can reveal the complex mosaic genomes in gene pools resulting from reticulate evolution: a case study in diploid and polyploid citrus. Citrus evolution in one beautiful diagram. I just wish I could remember the details from one day to the next.
- Population genomic analysis of mango (Mangifera indica) suggests a complex history of domestication. Two genepools, and no bottleneck. No cool diagram though.
- Aboriginal Translocations: The Intentional Propagation and Dispersal of Plants in Aboriginal Australia. More than just replanting tubers after harvest, although plenty of that.
- Comparison of Representative and Custom Methods of Generating Core Subsets of a Carrot Germplasm Collection. It’s a numbers game.
- Potato Breeding by Many Hands? Measuring the Germplasm Exchange Based on a Cultivated Potatoes Database. Most use of varieties in breeding is within countries.
- Marker-assisted breeding in grapes: like skimming through a book looking for key words.
- Vanilla genome: going from no-frills vehicle to luxury sportscar.
- CGN on what to do to ensure continued access to that book — or car.
- A topic which is all the rage right now in the ITPGRFA, on which this is a one-page primer.
- 14th century Māori grew taro as well as sweet potato.
- Great infographics on the fascinating region of Dhofar in southern Oman, in which I collected germplasm many years ago. Great opportunity to reminisce.
- Svalbard Vault inspires Cherokee Nation seed saving.
- Genebanks inspire CIMMYT Director General.
- New plant identification app inspires me to get out more.
- Rare Breed Survival Trust inspired by the resilience of some native livestock.
- See if this video doesn’t inspire you to do some pre-breeding.
- Inspiring interview with a breeder of perennial legumes.
Micronutrient deficiencies continue to take a toll on global health. Deficiencies of the minerals calcium, iron and zinc impact vital bodily functions including bone strength, oxygen transport and the immune system. At the same time coffee, which is not known for its content of important micronutrients, is “the most consumed food product worldwide”. How can it have taken so long to create fortified coffee?
Scientists in Brazil (where they have an awful lot of coffee) recently announced the results of fortifying ground, roasted coffee with calcium, iron and zinc. Ten trained coffee tasters evaluated a series of mineral salts and chose the two best-tasting salts for each mineral. Despite a slight metallic aftertaste for even the best salts, and a greenish colour for the iron-fortified coffee, the tasters found the fortified coffee acceptable.
Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry revealed that each fortified brew, based on both Coffea arabica and C. canephora, contained greater amounts of the minerals than unfortified brews. Espresso consistently contained higher concentrations than drip coffee made with either a paper filter or a nylon filter.
The average Brazilian woman would obtain 7.4% of the USDA recommended daily intake of iron from fortified coffee. Men would get 16.7% of the RDI for iron. Equivalent figures for zinc are 4.6% of the RDI for women and 3.3% for men. Calcium is harder to assess, because “acute consumption of caffeine can increase the urinary excretion of this mineral and reduce bone formation”.
Having established that they can fortify coffee with important micronutrient minerals, the researchers now plan to investigate the use of nanoparticles, rather than soluble salts, and to examine “consumer acceptance, stability during storage, and microbiological safety”.
- Beer before bread? Sure, why not.
- Melia is a big hit in Kenya. Must tell the mother-in-law.
- California goes back to the acorn.
- When it’s finished with that, it could try the stuff in this old orchard.
- Unfortunately no pawpaw there. Yet.
- No need to stress out about salinity, California.
- Rucola doesn’t need California.