Colorado State PGR course runs again

From Dr Pat Byrne, Professor Emeritus of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Colorado State University.

Colorado State University Online will offer 3 one-credit courses in Fall 2024 on Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Use. Courses are targeted to the upper undergraduate/graduate student level and can be taken sequentially or independently. Course instructors are Dr Geoff Morris (CSU), Dr Davina Rhodes (CSU), and Dr Gayle Volk (USDA-ARS). The courses are as follows:

  • SOCR 501 – Plant Genetic Resources: Origins, Aug. 19 – Sep. 22. Discover the origins of plant genetic resources, their domestication and diversification, their genetic and genomic properties, and their vital role in global food systems.
  • SOCR 502 – Plant Genetic Resources: Conservation, Sept. 23-Oct. 27. Examine the role of genebanks in the global effort to conserve plant genetic resources. Explore each step from collection to storage, regeneration, and distribution.
  • SOCR 503 – Plant Genetic Resources: Discovery, Oct. 28-Dec. 8. Learn how breeders overcome the challenges of unadapted germplasm, how novel traits and genetic variants are discovered, and how they get from genebank to plant breeders, then on to farmers and consumers.

For more information on course content, fees, and registration, visit

Brainfood: Food shift, Food footprint, Periodic Table of Food, Nutritious food, Diverse food, Food seed kits, Food meta-metrics

Giving a fig

Jeremy’s latest newsletter is out, with a medium-deep dive on a deep dive on figs. There’s more on FIGGEN here. And FYI, Genesys shows about 1500 fig accessions in genebanks.

AramcoWorld is a glossy publication from the Saudi oil giant that covers all sorts of topics generally linked to the Muslim world. In the latest issue a deep dive into fig diversity. For the scientifically inclined, FIGGEN is a cooperative effort to collect figs wild and cultivated and decode links between DNA and desirable qualities. The heart of the story, however, is the Tunisian farmers working to keep ahead of the climate emergency by changing the varieties they grow and the ways they grow them.

Read it, and you too will be able to speak knowledgeably about caprification, and if you can find an etymology beyond something like goat figs, do let me know.