Agricultural Biodiversity
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Bioversity International: MAPFORGEN: An online atlas for the conservation of forest genetic resources (full article)

Bioversity International: MAPFORGEN: An online atlas for the conservation of forest genetic resources (full article) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The MAPFORGEN project will evaluate the conservation status of 100 socio-economically important woody species from different eco-regions of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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Agricultural Biodiversity
Genetic and species diversity of crops, trees, livestock, pets, fish, pollinators, microbes etc etc...
Curated by Luigi Guarino
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Five ways food biodiversity contributes to healthier diets

Five ways food biodiversity contributes to healthier diets | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
In a new blog, Bioversity International scientists Gina Kennedy and Dietmar Stoian explain how food biodiversity – the diversity of plants and animals and other organisms used for food, both cultivated and from the wild – can help address hunger, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. The...
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Another Committee on World Food Security report

I knew I’d forget one: HLPE. 2017. Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome. The webcast is live
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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: a FAO project with Slow elements - Slow Food International

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: a FAO project with Slow elements - Slow Food International | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Diverse agricultural systems and landscapes have been created, shaped and maintained around the world by generations of farmers and herders based on natura
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Occasional Osage orange occurs in Rome

Occasional Osage orange occurs in Rome | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The Osage orange? Yeah, I didn’t know it either, but Maclura pomifera apparently “has a long and interesting history of use by both Native Americans and early pioneers.” I heard about it for the first time when Jeremy sent me
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Agricultural biodiversity – Use it or lose it!

Agricultural biodiversity – Use it or lose it! | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
In a new blog, Bioversity International scientist Ehsan Dulloo explains the different conservation strategies for a precious resource – agricultural biodiversity. One of those strategies seems almost a paradox: the more you use it, the more you save it!
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Leveraging agrobiodiversity: a recipe for food forever and happily ever after | FAO

Leveraging agrobiodiversity: a recipe for food forever and happily ever after | FAO | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
“Variety is the very spice of life, which gives it all its flavour” wrote William Cowper in his poem “The Task”. Endless repetition gets very boring and even depressing, at least it gets for me. And who doesn’t like to try something new every once in a while?
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Is data a bottleneck to PPP in conservation too?

Lawrence Haddad of GAIN has a blog post out on the “the data gaps that inhibit productive engagement between the public and the private spheres to advance nutrition.” It’s nicely summarized in a tweet. What data gaps are holding back
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A fresh look at crop seeds for healthy diets

A fresh look at crop seeds for healthy diets | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
As we get ready for World Food Day, researcher Jacob van Etten reminds us that seeds are a central piece of our food systems, as the vehicles that deliver the benefits of agricultural biodiversity: environmental sustainability and healthy diets.
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Evidence for mid-Holocene rice domestication in the Americas

Evidence for mid-Holocene rice domestication in the Americas | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The development of agriculture is one of humankind’s most pivotal achievements. Questions about plant domestication and the origins of agriculture have engaged scholars for well over a century, with implications for understanding its legacy on global subsistence strategies, plant distribution, population health and the global methane budget. Rice is one of the most important crops to be domesticated globally, with both Asia (Oryza sativa L.) and Africa (Oryza glaberrima Steud.) discussed as primary centres of domestication. However, until now the pre-Columbian domestication of rice in the Americas has not been documented. Here we document the domestication of Oryza sp. wild rice by the mid-Holocene residents of the Monte Castelo shell mound starting at approximately 4,000 cal. yr BP, evidenced by increasingly larger rice husk phytoliths. Our data provide evidence for the domestication of wild rice in a region of the Amazon that was also probably the cradle of domestication of other major crops such as cassava (Manihot esculenta), peanut (Arachis hypogaea) and chilli pepper (Capsicum sp.). These results underline the role of wetlands as prime habitats for plant domestication worldwide.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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Just a Few Species Make Up Most of Earth's Food Supply. And That's a Problem

Just a Few Species Make Up Most of Earth's Food Supply. And That's a Problem | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The looming threat of extinction from climate change makes the lack of diversity in the world's food supplies a dangerous prospect
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Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
It’s not just animals, many seed crops are also endangered. So why is agrobiodiversity so overlooked? This valuable source of affordable, nutritious food could disappear if we don’t act
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Go HarvestPlus!

Great to see HarvestPlus, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, make it to the semi-finals of the MacArthur Foundation $100 Million Grant Competition. With a $100 million grant, we would considerably scale up the
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Massive expectations for MOOC on climate change adaptation

Massive expectations for MOOC on climate change adaptation | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
UNDP, FAO and UNITAR have just announced a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on National Adaptation Plans Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture. It starts 13 November. If you want to learn from development professionals currently engaged in national adaptation planning
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Just a Few Species Make Up Most of Earth's Food Supply. And That's a Problem

Just a Few Species Make Up Most of Earth's Food Supply. And That's a Problem | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The looming threat of extinction from climate change makes the lack of diversity in the world's food supplies a dangerous prospect
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Molecular basis of African yam domestication: analyses of selection point to root development, starch biosynthesis, and photosynthesis related genes

Molecular basis of African yam domestication: analyses of selection point to root development, starch biosynthesis, and photosynthesis related genes | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
After cereals, root and tuber crops are the main source of starch in the human diet. Starch biosynthesis was certainly a significant target for selection during the domestication of these crops. But domestication of these root and tubers crops is also associated with gigantism of storage organs and changes of habitat. We studied here, the molecular basis of domestication in African yam, Dioscorea rotundata. The genomic diversity in the cultivated species is roughly 30% less important than its wild relatives. Two percent of all the genes studied showed evidences of selection. Two genes associated with the earliest stages of starch biosynthesis and storage, the sucrose synthase 4 and the sucrose-phosphate synthase 1 showed evidence of selection. An adventitious root development gene, a SCARECROW-LIKE gene was also selected during yam domestication. Significant selection for genes associated with photosynthesis and phototropism were associated with wild to cultivated change of habitat. If the wild species grow as vines in the shade of their tree tutors, cultivated yam grows in full light in open fields. Major rewiring of aerial development and adaptation for efficient photosynthesis in full light characterized yam domestication.
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Agrobiodiversity for people and planet | FAO

Agrobiodiversity for people and planet | FAO | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
You should eat a kilo of Cavendish bananas a day, if you’d like to fulfil your recommended intake of vitamin A. Or, you could eat one To’o banana. Too bad the Cavendish variety accounts for 47% of the worldwide production and 99% of the commercial export sale to developed countries; we seem...
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Osage orange outbreak

Osage orange outbreak | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Took me a while to retrieve the proof I knew I’d need to fully convince Luigi. Here it is: And in case the upload process somehow mangles the EXIF data (which are there in my copy) Lat is 41.88761166666666 Long
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Supporting Indigenous Knowledge

Supporting Indigenous Knowledge | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
A new biocultural training aid launches today, developed with the support of Birkbeck and the British Council. It is part of a project to reconnect indigenous communities with artefacts and botanical specimens.
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Reports galore for the CFS

It’s the time of year for major reports, I guess. Here’s what’s on the table: HLPE. 2017. Nutrition and food systems. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World
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Giving wheat breeders something to really cheer about

Nice to see a story about germplasm evaluation by a genebank make it into the mainstream media in India. In what is claimed to be the first global mega study, Indian agricultural scientists screened about 20,000 accessions of wheat germplasm
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The draft genome of tropical fruit durian (Durio zibethinus) : Nature Genetics : Nature Research

The draft genome of tropical fruit durian (Durio zibethinus) : Nature Genetics : Nature Research | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Durian (Durio zibethinus) is a Southeast Asian tropical plant known for its hefty, spine-covered fruit and sulfury and onion-like odor. Here we present a draft genome assembly of D. zibethinus, representing the third plant genus in the Malvales order and first in the Helicteroideae subfamily to be sequenced. Single-molecule sequencing and chromosome contact maps enabled assembly of the highly heterozygous durian genome at chromosome-scale resolution. Transcriptomic analysis showed upregulation of sulfur-, ethylene-, and lipid-related pathways in durian fruits. We observed paleopolyploidization events shared by durian and cotton and durian-specific gene expansions in MGL (methionine γ-lyase), associated with production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). MGL and the ethylene-related gene ACS (aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase) were upregulated in fruits concomitantly with their downstream metabolites (VSCs and ethylene), suggesting a potential association between ethylene biosynthesis and methionine regeneration via the Yang cycle. The durian genome provides a resource for tropical fruit biology and agronomy.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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Genome of wild olive and the evolution of oil biosynthesis

Genome of wild olive and the evolution of oil biosynthesis | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Here we present the genome sequence and annotation of the wild olive tree (Olea europaea var. sylvestris), called oleaster, which is considered an ancestor of cultivated olive trees. More than 50,000 protein-coding genes were predicted, a majority of which could be anchored to 23 pseudochromosomes obtained through a newly constructed genetic map. The oleaster genome contains signatures of two Oleaceae lineage-specific paleopolyploidy events, dated at ∼28 and ∼59 Mya. These events contributed to the expansion and neofunctionalization of genes and gene families that play important roles in oil biosynthesis. The functional divergence of oil biosynthesis pathway genes, such as FAD2, SACPD, EAR, and ACPTE, following duplication, has been responsible for the differential accumulation of oleic and linoleic acids produced in olive compared with sesame, a closely related oil crop. Duplicated oleaster FAD2 genes are regulated by an siRNA derived from a transposable element-rich region, leading to suppressed levels of FAD2 gene expression. Additionally, neofunctionalization of members of the SACPD gene family has led to increased expression of SACPD2, 3, 5, and 7, consequently resulting in an increased desaturation of steric acid. Taken together, decreased FAD2 expression and increased SACPD expression likely explain the accumulation of exceptionally high levels of oleic acid in olive. The oleaster genome thus provides important insights into the evolution of oil biosynthesis and will be a valuable resource for oil crop genomics.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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New Index to Help Investors Gauge Food Diversity

New Index to Help Investors Gauge Food Diversity | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change.
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Sixth mass extinction of wildlife also threatens global food supplies

Sixth mass extinction of wildlife also threatens global food supplies | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Plant and animal species that are the foundation of our food supplies are as endangered as wildlife but get almost no attention, a new report reveals
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Botanical gardens need to look to the tropics

Botanical gardens need to look to the tropics | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
A monumental study of the plant species conserved in botanical gardens has just been published, and is getting quite a lot of traction in the media. The headline numbers are impressive: “botanic gardens manage at least 105,634 species, equating to
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