- Agar plates, hydroponics, or field? The best way to do your phenotyping in one handy chart.
- Pioneering chilli expert Fabián García inducted into the National Agricultural Center’s Hall of Fame.
- Svalbard Global Seed Vault makes Top 10 of Project Management Institute’s best 50 projects, between M-Pesa and Netflix.
- Saving horse breeds in the USA.
- CIAT’s new genebank is in the works.
- Beer companies try to save their water supply. No word on what they plan to do about saving barley and hops diversity.
- World Bank maps biodiversity and the threats it faces. No plants, but still interesting. Opening the buggers is not easy, though.
- Wildland farming in the UK. A glimpse of the beckoning post-Brexit future.
- Traditional grazing systems in the Venetian Alps: Effects of grazing methods and environmental factors on cattle behaviour. Better for the cows, better for the cheese, better for the environment.
- Biodiversity, land use change, and human health in northeastern Madagascar: an interdisciplinary study. Paddy rice cultivation is bad for you.
- Local traditional foods contribute to diversity and species richness of rural women’s diet in Ecuador. Local food species are good for you.
- Illustrating the hidden economic, social and ecological values of global forage fish resources. $18.7 billion per annum, over 3 times of their direct catch value. But what exactly are they?
- Determination of carotenoids in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L., Lam) tubers: Implications for accurate provitamin A determination in staple sturdy tuber crops. Not all carotenoids have provitamin A properties.
- Evaluation of the Phytopathological Reaction of Wild and Cultivated Olives as a Means of Finding Promising New Sources of Genetic Diversity for Resistance to Root-Knot Nematodes. Some wild relatives could help.
- Picking from the Past in Preparation for a Pest: Seed Banks Outperform Herbaria as Sources of Preserved ‘Ōhi‘a Seed. I would hope so.
- Unearthing the “Lost” Andean Root Crop “Mauka” (Mirabilis expansa [Ruíz & Pav.] Standl.). On the rebound?
- High levels of recent wolf × dog introgressive hybridization in agricultural landscapes of central Italy. Not much real wolf left.
- A Road Map for Conservation, Use, and Public Engagement around North America’s Crop Wild Relatives and Wild Utilized Plants. Understand, protect, collect, conserve, make available, inform. Allrighty then.
- Open source seed, a revolution in breeding or yet another attack on the breeder’s exemption? May backfire.
- A global surveillance system for crop diseases. A Global Surveillance System, in fact. Here’s the origin story.
- New insights into Neolithic milk consumption through proteomic analysis of dental calculus. People unlikely to have lactase persistence consumed milk, which means either they were in constant discomfort or processed it in some way.
- Race and Region: Tracing the Cultural Pathways of Rice Consumption in the United States, 1680-1960. WW2 made it a cosmopolitan commodity.
- The climatic challenge: Which plants will people use in the next century? Depends on the tradeoffs between diversification-specialization and between substitution-adaptation.
- Unlocking the secrets of extreme seed longevity: the relevance of historic botanical collections to modern research. Claims that very old seeds are still alive are probably exaggerated. Except from genebanks, of course.
- Archaeological assessment reveals Earth’s early transformation through land use. We had transformed the world globally by 3000 years ago.
- Genome-wide association studies in apple reveal loci of large effect controlling apple polyphenols. It should be surprisingly easy to breed really healthy apples. No word on adaptation.
- Identifying loci with breeding potential across temperate and tropical adaptation via EigenGWAS and EnvGWAS. 13 genomic regions under ecological selection. No word on nutrition.
- The maize frontier in rural South India: Exploring the everyday dynamics of the contemporary food regime. Adoption is being driven both top-down and bottom-up.
- Simple study designs in ecology produce inaccurate estimates of biodiversity responses. Complexity in experimental design is worth it.
- Early integration of pastoralism and millet cultivation in Bronze Age Eurasia. In southeastern Kazakhstan, ca 2700 BC, mobile pastoralists winter foddered their sheep and goat with the region’s earliest cultivated millet, which came from China.
- The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia. People and crops moved together, both east and west. Oh, and are the above the Yanmaya?
- Lost Grains and Forgotten Vegetables from Japan: the Seikei Zusetsu Agricultural Catalog (1793–1804). Fewer than half of the 109 species illustrated are still grown in Japan.
- Soil legacy data rescue via GlobalSoilMap and other international and national initiatives. Should do the same with genebank data too.
- Insights into deployment of DNA markers in plant variety protection and registration. Will increasingly be used in support of DUS, apparently.
- Genetic Contribution of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat to CIMMYT’s Spring Bread Wheat Breeding Germplasm. 20% of the lines in international yield trials were synthetic-derived with an average genetic contribution from the D genome wild relative of 15.6%.
- Genetic diversity and population structure analysis of synthetic and bread wheat accessions in Western Siberia. The Japanese synthetics are something else.
The World Bank’s latest blockbuster report, Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture, argues that we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball of raising agricultural productivity just yet, despite past successes. The report weighs in at over 200 pages, but there’s a nice summary in a blog post by one of the authors. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I was quite pleased — and not a little surprised — to see this on a quick first run-through:
Although agricultural technologies need to be tailored to location-specific conditions, much of the pool of knowledge and genetic resources that scientists draw upon to make these adaptions is supplied by universities and research institutes in developed countries or centers participating in the CGIAR, which are sometimes referred to as advanced research institutes, or ARIs. Basic and applied research at ARIs continues to make major methodological advances in the scientific tools used in agricultural research… ARIs are also sources of broad and accessible collections of crop genetic resources, such as those maintained by the CGIAR centers and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
Productivity growth in #agriculture has the largest impact of any sector on #poverty reduction — roughly twice that of manufacturing. Check out the @WorldBank new report Harvesting Prosperity. https://t.co/ceb4rxkiVd pic.twitter.com/dboGLGZhhm
— Jess Fanzo (@jessfanzo) September 20, 2019