- The conservation value of germplasm stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 10% of about 40,000 taxa, >8% of collections, are either extinct, rare or vulnerable at global and/or national level; 20% of taxa, representing 13% collections, are endemic at the country or territory scale. And the cost, though?
- Genomes of 13 domesticated and wild rice relatives highlight genetic conservation, turnover and innovation across the genus Oryza. Lots of things for breeders to play around with. Australians especially pleased.
- Our House Is Burning: Discrepancy in Climate Change vs. Biodiversity Coverage in the Media as Compared to Scientific Literature. Biodiversity conservation community really bad at getting the message out.
- Diversity of management strategies in Mesoamerican turkeys: archaeological, isotopic and genetic evidence. Separate domestications in Mesoamerica and SW USA; two types in former, one fed crops and the other, more flamboyant type, left to roam; neither eaten.
- Functional traits in cover crop mixtures: Biological nitrogen fixation and multifunctionality. Design mixtures with complementary plant traits for maximum on-farm benefit.
- Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: opportunities and challenges emerging from the science and information technology revolution. The future is Norway.
- Quantifying progress toward a conservation assessment for all plants. A quarter done.
- The earliest occurrence of a newly described domesticate in Eastern North America: Adena/Hopewell communities and agricultural innovation. Erect knotweed used to be a crop, a mainstay of the Eastern Agricultural Complex. Now it’s a weed. Can the same be said of other plants? Well, maybe.
- Conserving honey bees does not help wildlife. Wild bees, that is.
- Breeding implications of drought stress under future climate for upland rice in Brazil. Wide adaptation of upland rice in Brazil is not going to cut it.
- Farm production diversity and dietary quality: linkages and measurement issues. Cash is often better than production diversity at predicting dietary diversity.
- Tropical forage legumes for environmental benefits: An overview. Ruminant livestock production need not be bad for the environment. Useful list of research needs to make sure.
- Complete mitogenomes from Kurdistani sheep: abundant centromeric nuclear copies representing diverse ancestors. There are lots of bits of mitochondrial DNA near the centromeres of all chromosomes bar the Y. Is that a problem for phylogenies?
XKCD is to blame.
Meet Jennifer! She is passionate about plants and her donation to the @CropTrust won her a trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with @MarthaStewart. ❄️🌱Thank you to all who donated to this incredible cause! pic.twitter.com/KbmF7WKh7Q
— Prizeo (@Prizeo) February 2, 2018
Congratulations, Jennifer. Have a great time.
A Pavlovsk-like situation may be developing in Côte d’Ivoire. There have been rumours circulating for some months that the Marc Delorme Research Station of the Centre national de recherche agronomique (CNRA), home to one of the major coconut genebanks of the world, was threatened with redevelopment.
Well, things have just got real. A representative of CNRA’s unions held a press conference on 26 January alleging that the government does indeed have a project to move the collection from its present site, which has been sold. The researchers and other staff are resolutely against it. The relevant ministry denies all knowledge of the affair:
We’ll keep you posted. The collection is recognized under Article 15 of the Seed Treaty.
Art Napoleon is a Canadian “TV producer/songwriter/adventurer/wild game foodie…weekend shape-shifter & extreme berry picker,” which sounds like a pretty cool gig. You can watch him talk about Canadian agriculture, and the role the national genebanks plays in it, on the documentary Food for Thought. He visits the genebank about 16 minutes in, but watch the whole thing. In the screenshot below, one guy is Art, the other is the head of the genebank. I’ll leave you to guess which one is which.