- Variation in seed longevity among diverse Indica rice varieties. 8 major loci associated with seed longevity.
- Seeds and the Art of Genome Maintenance. Viability is about the DNA repair response. Snap.
- Are Mayan community forest reserves effective in fulfilling people’s needs and preserving tree species? Sure.
- The power of argument. People don’t respond to utilitarian arguments when it comes to biodiversity. In the Netherlands.
- Do modern hunter-gatherers live in marginal habitats? Nope. What can I tell ya?
- New evidence on concentration in seed markets. Not as bad as some people think.
- Climate change has likely already affected global food production. From 2003 to 2008, ~1% average reduction in consumable food calories in barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat.
- Selection of Heat Tolerant Lablab. 6 out of 44 accessions form the WorldVeg genebank are heat tolerant.
- Counting the beans: quantifying the adoption of improved mungbean varieties in South Asia and Myanmar. 1.2 million farmers reached by WorldVeg varieties. Lablab next?
- Climate smart agricultural practices and gender differentiated nutrition outcome: An empirical evidence from Ethiopia. They work, but they’re better in combination.
- Pests and diseases of trees in Africa: A growing continental emergency. Into Africa…
- Genetics of adaptation in modern chicken. Not much of a domestication bottleneck; that came later.
- Multi-Trait Diverse Germplasm Sources from Mini Core Collection for Sorghum Improvement. From 40,000 in the genebank, to 242 in the mini-core, to 6 really cool ones (from Yemen, USA, China, Mozambique, and India x2 if you must know).
- Palaeogenomic insights into the origins of French grapevine diversity. Ancient DNA from 28 pips dating back to the Iron Age provides pretty good matches to grapes grown today.
- Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Almost 600 plants went extinct in modern times, at least, and I count about 20 crop wild relatives among them.
You may have seen coverage of a recent paper in Nature in which Kew researchers quantified the rate of plant extinction over the last 250 or so years. The headline number is about 3 species have been going extinct per year, which is about 500 times the background rate. But I know that what you really want to know is how many of these are crop wild relatives. Well, my friends at CIAT worked their database magic, and came up with the following list of extinct species which are classified by at least one source as a crop wild relative:
Which means about 1 per decade or thereabouts. But that, clearly, is just a minimum.
Perhaps I’ll try to map where these plants were last seen.
- The Coffee Science Foundation is the science foundation we all need.
- In search of Bob’s ganja.
- Vox vid on saving crop diversity. Pretty good, except for that thorn apple thing.
- GIZ support for the CIP genebank.
- Ex-CIP breeder works with VIR to bring wild potatoes to Cornell.
- Or friend Lex Thomson on why Fiji is a hibiscus hotspot.
- Celebrate European cereal diversity.
- Dan Barber on freeing the seed. The polarisation continues.
- The first British farmers walked there.
- CIMMYT rebuttal of a paper saying European wheat varieties are decreasing in their climate resilience.
- Celery was once a luxury.
- The deep history of inhaling.
- CIP genebank scientists honoured.
- But do they know about the most expensive potato in the world?
- The thinking behind that IPBES 1 million threatened species number.
- Seed documentary wins awards.
- Tasty blue bananas.
- One-woman genebank in India.
- Meanwhile, in Rome, negotiations to improve the Plant Treaty continue… Fingers crossed.
- Resetting the table for people and plants: Botanic gardens and research organizations collaborate to address food and agricultural plant blindness. There are so many ways to get people interested in plants.
- A review on goats in southern Africa: an untapped genetic resource. 500-600 years of natural selection must count for something.
- Agromorphologic, genetic and methylation profiling of Dioscorea and Musa species multiplied under three micropropagation systems. Methylation at some loci, but no phenotypic differences.
- Modelling Crop Genetic Resources Phenotyping Information Systems. Field to figures.
- Agricultural and food systems in the Mekong region: Drivers of transformation and pathways of change. Corn everywhere.
- Yam genomics supports West Africa as a major cradle of crop domestication. The Niger River Basin, to be precise. How long before corn takes over?
- A diversity of traits contributes to salinity tolerance of wild Galapagos tomatoes seedlings. 3 out of 67 accessions of 2 wild endemic species showed particularly high salinity tolerance.
- Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. origins and domestication: the South and Southeast Asian archaeobotanical evidence. Here’s ground zero for domestication about 5000 years ago: 19.397833, 80.813132.
- A 3500-year-old leaf from a Pharaonic tomb reveals that New Kingdom Egyptians were cultivating domesticated watermelon. A Nile Valley origin?
- Origins of the Apple: The Role of Megafaunal Mutualism in the Domestication of Malus and Rosaceous Trees. Large fruits originally evolved to attract wild horses, deer and bears, which spread them far and wide; populations isolated by the Ice Age were brought back together by humans.
- Assessing global popularity and threats to Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas using social media data. Accessibility and infrastructure more important than biodiversity.
- Messaging matters: A systematic review of the conservation messaging literature. Communications professionals think that more input from communications professionals is needed for conservation professionals to communicate professionally.
- De Novo Domestication: An Alternative Route toward New Crops for the Future. Lots to play with, that’s for sure.