It’s really transition time at the CIMMYT genebank. Denise Costich retired, and Terry Molnar took over her role running the maize part of the operation. And very soon Tom Payne will also retire, from leading the wheat genebank. Check out this nice Q&A with Tom, and join me in wishing him all the best on the next chapter of his life.
- An In Vitro–Ex Vitro Micropropagation System for Hemp. Hope it doesn’t drive down diversity, man.
- The genomes of ancient date palms germinated from 2,000 y old seeds. Interesting, sure, but let’s not call it “resurrection genomics,” shall we?
- Interpreting Diachronic Size Variation in Prehistoric Central Asian Cereal Grains. Parallel increases in size among different lineages at the edge of distributions.
- The first comprehensive archaeobotanical analysis of prehistoric agriculture in Kyrgyzstan. The above in context. Both summer and winter crops grown.
- The influence of ancient herders on soil development at Luxmanda, Mbulu Plateau, Tanzania. 3000 year old encampments still have richer soils. They must have been hotbeds of domestication, surely. Did they have the same things in Central Asia?
- Mass-kill hunting and Late Quaternary ecology: New insights into the ‘desert kite’ phenomenon in Arabia. I bet they had these things in East Africa and Central Asia too.
- Eight generations of native seed cultivation reduces plant fitness relative to the wild progenitor population. Evolution comes at you fast.
- Attaining the promise of plant gene editing at scale. Factor in gene editing with RNA viruses and developmental regulators, and it will come at you faster still. And no, absolutely nothing will go wrong, you wuss.
- Making Hybrids with the Wild Potato Solanum jamesii. But why fiddle about with bridging species and stuff when you can edit?
- Tomato Landraces Are Competitive with Commercial Varieties in Terms of Tolerance to Plant Pathogens—A Case Study of Hungarian Gene Bank Accessions on Organic Farms. Who needs editing?
- Edible mycorrhizal fungi of the world: What is their role in forest sustainability, food security, biocultural conservation and climate change? 970 of them!
- Global wind patterns shape genetic differentiation, asymmetric gene flow, and genetic diversity in trees. The wind is blowing the answer, my friend.
- Social network analysis of the genealogy of strawberry: retracing the wild roots of heirloom and modern cultivars. Some 1500 contributors to the current, quite diverse cultivated genepool, from numerous species.
- Is Domestication Speciation? The Implications of a Messy Domestication model in the Holocene. They could have used the above as an additional example. But the answer to the question in the title seems to be that it doesn’t matter much, and I’m there for that.
- Phenotypic divergence between the cultivated apple (Malus domestica) and its primary wild progenitor (Malus sieversii). Oh, look, you don’t need fancy genotyping to tell that wild and cultivated apples are different species. No word on the role of global wind patterns though.
- Genetic diversity and population structure of advanced clones selected over forty years by a potato breeding program in the USA. Going from 214 to 43 clones doesn’t seem a game worth the candle, but someone will no doubt set me right.
- The Adoption of Landraces of Durum Wheat in Sicilian Organic Cereal Farming Analysed Using a System Dynamics Approach. Follow the money.
- Rediscovering ‘Mexican June’: a nearly extinct landrace maize (Zea mays L.) variety. Yes, there is money in organic systems.
- Modeling impacts of faster productivity growth to inform the CGIAR initiative on Crops to End Hunger. Following the money.
- Nutritional diversity and community perceptions of health and importance of foods in Kiribati: a case study. Local foods are seen to be healthier than imported, but nobody cares. Maybe because people are following the money?
- Governing crop genetics in post-Soviet countries: lessons from the biodiversity hotspot Armenia. Any progress that has been made is due to committed individuals. There’s a lesson there for us all.
- Archaeological science meets Māori knowledge to model pre-Columbian sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) dispersal to Polynesia’s southernmost habitable margins. Archaeology confirms traditional oral history. A lesson there too.
- Factors influencing household pulse consumption in India: A multilevel model analysis. Households that grown more pulses, eat more pulses. There endeth the lesson.
Macquarie University archaeologist Emlyn Dodd has a great thread over on Twitter summarizing the latest evidence for an earlier-than-generally-thought introduction of viticulture and wine-making into Bronze Age Italy.
— Dr Emlyn Dodd (@emlynkd) May 11, 2021
We’re basically talking about Mycenaean involvement, rather than the conventional story based on intrepid wine-obsessed Phoenicians crossing the wine-dark sea.
As ever, for the Twitter-averse, here’s the ThreadReader version.