- Global map and indicators of food system sustainability. Includes crop diversity, based on Khoury et al.
- Phenotyping and Plant Breeding: Overcoming the Barriers. Mostly comes down to good experimental design.
- The Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Potato Agrobiodiversity in the Highlands of Central Peru: A Case Study of Smallholder Management across Farming Landscapes. Intensification and upward movement, while maintaining diversity.
- Diversity of a Large Collection of Natural Populations of Mango (Mangifera indica Linn.) Revealed by Agro-Morphological and Quality Traits. Lowish diversity, but not so low as to fail to provide year-round production.
- Intraspecific diversification of the crop wild relative Brassica cretica Lam. using demographic model selection. Diverse populations do not necessarily mean diverse adaptation.
- Crop Origins and Phylo Food: A database and a phylogenetic tree to stimulate comparative analyses on the origins of food crops. When and where current crops were domesticated.
- The climatic challenge: Which plants will people use in the next century? When and where future crops will be domesticated.
- Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492. 56 million deaths.
- Multidimensional characterization of global food supply from 1961 to 2013. Animal-source foods + sugar up in the East, down in the West. Everybody’s eating their vegetables.
- Exploring solution spaces for nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Kenya and Vietnam. Could grown more, and different, vegetables.
- Evaluation of early vigor traits in wild olive germplasm. Potential as dwarfing rootstocks.
- Agronomic and biochemical evaluation of cassava clones with roots that have pink pulp. 2 of 9 from the Embrapa collection have potential.
- Management Practices and Breeding History of Varieties Strongly Determine the Fine Genetic Structure of Crop Populations: A Case Study Based on European Wheat Populations. Landraces show more intra-sample diversity than modern varieties. Wait, there must be more to it than that…
- High-resolution and bias-corrected CMIP5 projections for climate change impact assessments. 7 TB of data for your delectation, thanks to CGIAR.
The Priority Food Tree and Crop Food Composition Database contains nutritional information of selected tree foods and crops, with geographical focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The current version (version 1) comprises 132 foods (out of 99 species) and 30 components. All component values are presented per 100 g edible portion on fresh weight basis (EP). In addition to actual food composition values, the database includes scores for all foods – “high source”, “source”, “present, but low source”, or “not a source” – of the selected micronutrients iron, vitamin A, folate and vitamin C. Searches can be done by food name, scientific name and by food group.
Pretty clear, no? Well, if not, there’s now a user guide.
But before you ask, no, there’s no variety-level information. Mango is mango, maize is maize. For that you have to go to other databases.
That list of suggestions to CGIAR from David Lobell last week in Food Policy? It turns out to be one a trio of “viewpoints” on what the new, improved One CGIAR should do. Just to remind you, Dr Lobell said breeding (including of hitherto neglected crops) and precision agronomy.
Dr Rebecca Nelson of Cornell University has somewhat different advice for CGIAR:
- “…break definitively with fossil energy-based intensification and to dedicate itself to agroecological intensification.”
- “…expand its mandate and its networks to support equity, food systems health, and sustainable productivity in agricultural systems around the world.”
- “…bring the power of scientific research to local communities in a networked fashion that builds the global and local evidence base for agroecological intensification.”
- “… tackle agricultural challenges in their larger context… This is necessary because food and agriculture are inseparable from the larger ecological, meteorological, social, and political systems.”
And, finally, there’s Dr Lawrence Haddad of GAIN. According to him, CGIAR needs to:
- “…understand the terrain between farm and fork much better than it does now.”
- fill the gap in “…research on private sector actors” in the food system.
- have “…a greater focus on foods like vegetables, fruits, fish, pulses, nuts, eggs, dairy, and meat.”
- help “…create a safe space to break out of the disciplinary and subject specific silos.”
Do please read all three articles in their entirety, if you can (they’re behind a paywall, I’m afraid), and let us know what you think here. Each is coming from a very different place, and yet they do have one thing in common: a recognition of the importance of agricultural biodiversity. Too bad none of them actually mentioned genebanks.
But then I would say that, wouldn’t I.
LATER: No wait, there’s another one.
- Enhancing the functioning of farm animal gene banks in Europe: results of the IMAGE project. Lots going on, but avian species in particular need more work.
- Conservation and Utilization of Livestock Genetic Diversity in the United States of America through Gene Banking. Over 1,000,000 samples from over 55,000 animals, representing 165 livestock and poultry breeds, collected over 60 years, more than 50% of rare breeds.
- Cryoconservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Europe and Two African Countries: A Gap Analysis. Out of the 2949 breeds registered in DAD-IS, 16% have material in genebanks, but only 4% have enough to allow breed reconstitution.
- Unlocking the origins and biology of domestic animals using ancient DNA and paleogenomics. How we got to the above.
- Distributions, conservation status, and abiotic stress tolerance potential of wild cucurbits (Cucurbita L.). 13 out of 16 taxa need in situ and ex situ work.
- Wild potato Genetic Reserves in Protected Areas: prospection notes from Los Cardones National Park, Salta, Argentina. Nice combination of in situ and ex situ.
- Agricultural intensification was associated with crop diversification in India (1947-2014). But only at country level, and not by much. At district level, crop diversity went down in rice/wheat areas and up in the south and west as oilseeds and vegetables replaced millet and sorghum. Doesn’t strike me as positive overall, diversity-wise.
- From population to production: 50 years of scientific literature on how to feed the world. Time for a bit of holism.
- Unlocking the Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of a Wild Gene Source of Wheat, Aegilops biuncialis Vis., and Its Relationship With the Heading Time. 5 ecogeographic clusters, 4 related heading time groups.
- Genomic Evidence for Complex Domestication History of the Cultivated Tomato in Latin America. Domestication of northerly migrating wildish material in Mexico rather than 2-step domestication in S America and then Mexico.
- Enset‐based agricultural systems in Ethiopia: A systematic review of production trends, agronomy, processing and the wider food security applications of a neglected banana relative. Better data needed, for a start.
- Worldwide Genetic Resources of Duckweed: Stock Collections. 36 species, no less. Need more?
- Realizing hybrids between the cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and its distantly related wild species using in situ embryo rescue technique. You need to apply growth substances to the pollinated flowers.
- The remarkable morphological diversity of leaf shape in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas): the influence of genetics, environment, and G×E. Genetics controls shape, environment size.
- Adaptation and development pathways for different types of farmers. Watch your context, and don’t forget governance.
- Golden Rice and technology adoption theory: A study of seed choice dynamics among rice growers in the Philippines. They forgot context. And governance. But let the author spell it out in a tweet thread.
The Crop Trust, through the CGIAR Genebank Platform, is recruiting 5 fellows in 2020 for the ‘Genebank Impacts Fellowship’. The goal is to document the economic importance of conserving the diversity of plant genetic resources held in the international genebanks. Through this, we hope to raise awareness of the value of genebanks among users, donors, and other stakeholders.
The outputs of the previous cohort of fellows can be found on the website of the Genebank Platform.
Details here. Deadline for applications is Friday, 28 February 2020.