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Science: Transposable Elements, Epigenetics, and Genome Evolution

Science: Transposable Elements, Epigenetics, and Genome Evolution | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Nina Fedoroff's Presidential Address essay for Science looks at transposons and epigenetics, with an emphasis on plants.

It's a very good introductory-level article that should be accessible to most university students, and it also includes some discussion of our evolving understanding of genomes and genome evolution.

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Via Mary Williams
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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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The CIMMYT wheat genebank gets its message out

The CIMMYT wheat genebank gets its message out | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Nice summary of last year’s achievements from the CIMMYT wheat genebank. Don’t forget to click on “Appreciate” at the end.

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Documenting geographical origins of Indian products

Ever realised that the famous, red hot Naga Mirchi (a special variety of chilli from Nagaland) doesn’t have a Wikipedia page? Well, no, as it happens, but in any case that’s apparently about to change.

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Scylla, meet Charybdis

It is much more expensive to produce many diverse locally adapted varieties, and more time-consuming. So big seed companies generally narrow their focus to reduce costs.

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Well, since we’re calling for paradigm shifts…

Well, since we’re calling for paradigm shifts… | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

There’s a lot that’s both nice and deliciously ironic about IFPRI’s recent blog post “Granular socioeconomic data are increasingly becoming available in agricultural research.” This summarizes a letter to Nature Climate...

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Rebuilding the ICARDA collection

Rebuilding the ICARDA collection | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

You’ll probably remember this statement four months ago from ICARDA’s Director General, Dr Mahmoud Solh.

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The cider apple rules

I really didn’t give the short piece on the conservation of cider apple varieties in England a second thought when it first came out on the BBC a few days ago.

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Drying figs, breaking bread

For commercial farmers and state bodies this kind of project currently lacks economic feasibility. But for community gardens, and people who have private gardens, there are other considerations.

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Ethiopia Drought Crisis: Pastoralists Adopt Nontraditional Methods To Survive

Ethiopia Drought Crisis: Pastoralists Adopt Nontraditional Methods To Survive | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Finding good drinking water and pastures are matters of life and death for traditional pastoralists in Ethiopia, whose fortunes are tied to their domestic animals.

Via JJ Grodent
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Mapping the Neolithic Revolution

Mapping the Neolithic Revolution | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Somehow we missed this great map of the Fertile Crescent from National Geographic. It came out just before Christmas, but we should have caught it, really. I hope they do similar ones for other cradles of agriculture around the world.

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Virgin with crop wild relative

Virgin with crop wild relative | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Went to the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne at the weekend, and what should I find but a 15th century tryptich of the Madonna holding a crop wild relative flower? Apparently it symbolises virginity.

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A photographic record of germplasm collecting

A photographic record of germplasm collecting | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Have you ever collected plant genetic resources? If so, please consider sharing some of your photos in a new Facebook group just launched by Mike Jackson, who is stuck at home with a broken leg and time on his hands.

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Ban or breed?

Ban or breed? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

I’m not sure I was aware of the fact that grasspea (khesari dal, or Lathyrus sativus) was actually banned in parts of India due to its toxicity.

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AnGR report ready for prime time

AnGR report ready for prime time | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Some 17 percent (1,458) of the world's farm animal breeds are currently at risk of extinction: #UNFAO's new #AnimalGenetics report — FAO Newsroom (@FAOnews) January 27, 2016 The second report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic ...

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Gene bank

Gene banks are a type of biorepository which preserve genetic material.For plants, this could be by freezing cuttings from the plant, or stocking the seeds (...

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A valentine for a crop wild relative

A valentine for a crop wild relative | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Kudos to Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) for nominating a crop wild relative as their favourite unloved species. I’m sure we can think of a few more…

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The status of wheat landraces in Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan

The status of wheat landraces in Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Six years in the making, FAO announced today the publication of surveys of wheat landraces in farmers’ fields in Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The work was done in collaboration with CIMMYT, ICARDA and national researchers.

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Multiplying rice

Multiplying rice | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Speaking of genebank multiplication plots, I’m told this is the best time of year to stroll through rice ones, and get an idea of the diversity on display. Here’s the evidence, courtesy of our friends at IRRI.

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Varietal diversity in pulse nutritional quality to be documented, maybe even used

Good to see FAO taking the lead in pulling together nutritional data on pulses, in celebration of the International Year of Pulses.

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GRIN-Global hitting its stride

A couple of months ago we announced that USDA had adopted a new genebank data management system, GRIN-Global.

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Was the Agricultural Revolution a Terrible Mistake? Not If You Take Food Processing Into Account

Was the Agricultural Revolution a Terrible Mistake? Not If You Take Food Processing Into Account | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The agriculture-as disaster theory rests, at least in part, on ignoring the work involved importance of processing and cooking food
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Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species : Nature Genetics

Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species : Nature Genetics | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture.

Via Francis Martin, Niklaus Grunwald, Guogen Yang
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Yes, we have bananas

Yes, we have bananas | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

What better way to start the new year than with an attractive catalog of banana accessions from USDA? Especially as, coincidentally, the Musa Germplasm Information System also debuts a new iteration of the website.

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