Agricultural Biodiversity
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The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Presents: The Life Cycle of Wheat Stem Rust.
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Agricultural Biodiversity
Genetic and species diversity of crops, trees, livestock, fish, pollinators, microbes etc etc
Curated by Luigi Guarino
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Finger on the pulse in Rio

Finger on the pulse in Rio | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
My latest from the work blog: There seems to be a bit of an issue over at the Olympics with fast food marketing, but if athletes in Rio, or indeed spectators, want a simple, cheap meal that’s also healthy, and...
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Peruvian genebank to get bigger, but how much?

Peruvian genebank to get bigger, but how much? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
There’s much excitement over on my Facebook page about the announcement of a cash infusion for the Peruvian genebank. I’ll be here, holding my breath.
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Bananas everywhere

National Geographic have just published the first of a three-part series on the history of the banana.
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Science: Can Apulia's olive trees be saved? (2016)

Science: Can Apulia's olive trees be saved? (2016) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

On 21 October 2013, the Italian phytosanitary service notified the European Commission (EC) that the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa had been detected in olive trees near Gallipoli, a tourist destination in Italy's southern region of Apulia (1). This xylem-limited bacterium is spread by insect vectors and causes disease in crops such as grapevines, citrus, coffee, and almond; various ornamentals; and trees such as oaks, elms, and sycamores. Because of the risks of X. fastidiosa being introduced, established, and spread throughout Europe, this species is a regulated quarantine pest. Yet, X. fastidiosa has been left unchecked and has marched northward, leaving destruction in its wake (see the photo) (2). The establishment of X. fastidiosa in Italy has been an agricultural, environmental, political, and cultural disaster.

 

The threat of X. fastidiosa to European and Mediterranean agriculture, forests, and ecosystems goes beyond specific crops such as grapevines or citrus. The current host range of this bacterium includes more than 300 plant species (3). Most of these species support some degree of pathogen multiplication without expressing symptoms. Susceptible hosts infected with X. fastidiosa often show disease symptoms only after months or years, although epidemics can spread fast and be devastating.

 

A phylogenetic study has shown that the genotype in Italy was likely introduced via contaminated plant material from Costa Rica (3). Several X. fastidiosa-infected coffee plants from Costa Rica have been intercepted at European ports since 2014, supporting this hypothesis (4). As a response, the EC in February 2014 approved European Union (EU) emergency measures aimed at preventing the introduction and spread of X. fastidiosa. Since May 2015, the import of coffee plants from Costa Rica and Honduras into the EU has been forbidden. Limiting the introduction of insect vectors is considered an easier task, but this is not possible for X. fastidiosa because any xylem-sap-sucking insect species can be a potential vector. Europe has few sharpshooter leafhopper species, the most important group of vectors in the Americas. However, various endemic spittlebug species (froghoppers) are also potential vectors of X. fastidiosa (3).

 

Trade is an important pathway in the introduction of plant pests and pathogens (5), and X. fastidiosa-infected plant material has likely been introduced via European ports on a regular basis. Given that biological and environmental conditions in Europe support X. fastidiosainfection, the question arises why the pathogen has not been reported previously. One possible explanation is that limited surveillance efforts missed previous introductions. Monitoring was one component of the EU emergency measures. After the French authorities started a systematic monitoring program for X. fastidiosa in 2014, they found 250 distinct infected areas in Corsica and several in the French Riviera. However, no disease epidemic has yet been noted in France, and the genotype of X. fastidiosa differs from that found in Italy.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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New blog on all things genebanks

Did I mention I also have a work blog, focusing on genebanky stuff? The latest post is about Pokémon Go. Yeah, I know, but trust me, it makes sense. Hopefully.
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The chronology of banana as a source of provitamin A carotenoids and its potential contribution to alleviation of vitamin A deficiency among vulnerable population groups. [Abstract]

The chronology of banana as a source of provitamin A carotenoids and its potential contribution to alleviation of vitamin A deficiency among vulnerable population groups. [Abstract] | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
In: Biodiversity for improved nutrition and health: The critical role of food composition in decision making for agriculture and nutrition programming and policy. 11th IFDC Pre-Conference Workshop IV.
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Ancient agricultural DNA everywhere

Heady days for ancient DNA researchers. There have been two major papers in the past month looking at the DNA of Neolithic farmers. Back in June, a huge research consortium published “The genetic structure of the world’s first farmers” as
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Genomic analysis of 6,000-year-old cultivated grain illuminates the domestication history of barley

Genomic analysis of 6,000-year-old cultivated grain illuminates the domestication history of barley | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The cereal grass barley was domesticated about 10,000 years before the present in the Fertile Crescent and became a founder crop of Neolithic agriculture1. Here we report the genome sequences of five 6,000-year-old barley grains excavated at a cave in the Judean Desert close to the Dead Sea. Comparison to whole-exome sequence data from a diversity panel of present-day barley accessions showed the close affinity of ancient samples to extant landraces from the Southern Levant and Egypt, consistent with a proposed origin of domesticated barley in the Upper Jordan Valley. Our findings suggest that barley landraces grown in present-day Israel have not experienced major lineage turnover over the past six millennia, although there is evidence for gene flow between cultivated and sympatric wild populations. We demonstrate the usefulness of ancient genomes from desiccated archaeobotanical remains in informing research into the origin, early domestication and subsequent migration of crop species.

Via Jean-Pierre Zryd
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An heuristic framework for identifying multiple ways of supporting the conservation and use of traditional crop varieties within the agricultural production system

An heuristic framework for identifying multiple ways of supporting the conservation and use of traditional crop varieties within the agricultural production system | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
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The microbial aspect of climate change

The microbial aspect of climate change | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Global warming and climate change are the most prominent issues of the current environmental scenario. These problems arise due to higher concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which exert a warming effect. Although much attention has been given to anthropogenic sources and impacts of these gases, the significance and implications of microorganisms have remained neglected. The present review brings to light this overlooked aspect (role and responses of microbes in this context) in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Through existing literature, it attempts to assess the mechanisms that cause microbes to emit and absorb greenhouse gases. The consequent effects as well as feedbacks have also been studied. It was then found that microbes play a major role with respect to climate change. Thus, microbes should never be deprived of their due importance in climate change models as well as discussions on the matter. In addition, the review also identified the necessity of proper research in this aspect as there is a lack of adequate understanding on this facet of climate change.


Via Jean-Michel Ané, Pierre-André Marechal
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World Food Prize for letting food be thy medicine

Congratulations to Drs Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga, Jan Low and Howarth Bouis on being awarded the 2016 World Food Prize for their work on biofortification in general and the orange-fleshed sweet potato in particular: “Let Food Be Thy Medicine,” a
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Pear Gene Bank Hosts Field Day

KEZI 9 News, 8-28-13 The National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis has over 2,000 pear trees from over 56 countries, and the public can see them o
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How to sample for diversity

How to sample for diversity | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Attentive readers may remember a two-part post from about a year ago from Dr Sean Hoban, on how to maximize genetic diversity in seed collections.
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IP for smallholder farmers

Thanks a lot to Susan Bragdon for summarizing her latest paper for us. The Quaker United Nations Office has released a paper by Chelsea Smith and myself looking at the relationship between intellectual property (IP) and small scale farmer innovation.
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Sailing to Byzantium

Futurefarmers has been collecting, growing and distributing a selection of “ancient grains” in Oslo since 2013.
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Visiting IRRI's Rice Gene Bank

The International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines has been managing the world's largest rice gene bank, which contributes to 90% of ric
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Discrimination: Using the Not-So-Simple Grindstone to Make Multiple Maize Dishes

Discrimination: Using the Not-So-Simple Grindstone to Make Multiple Maize Dishes | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Sometimes it is suggested that the poor are so absorbed by simply getting enough to eat that, unlike the rich, they have little discrimination where the taste of their food is concerned.
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Agroforestry around the world

Agroforestry around the world | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
I’ve been looking for an excuse to play around with the Database of Places, Language, Culture and Environment (D-PLACE), which “contains cultural, linguistic, environmental and geographic information for over 1400 human...
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Why Do Some Plants Become Food Crops and Others Not? And What Does That Tell Us?

Why Do Some Plants Become Food Crops and Others Not? And What Does That Tell Us? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
  Out of thousands of plant species, only a few are important food crops Globally important food crops in the early twenty-first century include wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, soya bean, potat…
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THE LAND OF PUNT

THE LAND OF PUNT | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Believed to be a mythical land for centuries, excavations reveal that the Land of Punt was a real land known for


Via Seth Dixon
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One for the birds

One for the birds | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
There’s a great set of photographs on the Facebook page of Leo Sebastian, Regional Program Leader, Southeast Asia at CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, based in Los Baños, Philippines.
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The biodiversity of beer

The biodiversity of beer | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
We are extremely grateful to Ove Fosså, President of the Slow Food Ark of Taste commission in Norway, for this contribution, inspired by a recent Facebook post of his. We hope it is the first of many.
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From uniformity to diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems.

From uniformity to diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems. | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
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Plant Conservation and the SDGs

Dr Sarada Krishnan of the Denver Botanic Gardens kindly sent us this summary of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation’s conference on Plant Conservation and the Sustainable Development Goals, mentioned yesterday on the blog. Many thanks, Sarada. If many readers
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