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New Phytologist: Phylogenetic and experimental evidence for host-specialized cryptic species in a biotrophic oomycete (2012)

New Phytologist: Phylogenetic and experimental evidence for host-specialized cryptic species in a biotrophic oomycete (2012) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Assortative mating resulting from host plant specialization has been proposed to facilitate rapid ecological divergence in biotrophic plant pathogens. Downy mildews, a major group of biotrophic oomycetes, are prime candidates for testing speciation by host plant specialization.


Here, we combined a phylogenetic and morphological approach with cross-pathogenicity tests to investigate host plant specialization and host range expansion in grapevine downy mildew. This destructive disease is caused by Plasmopara viticola, an oomycete endemic to North America on wild species and cultivated grapevines.


Multiple genealogies and sporangia morphology provide evidence that P. viticola is a complex of four cryptic species, each associated with different host plants. Cross-inoculation experiments showed complete host plant specialization on Parthenocissus quinquefolia and on Vitis riparia, whereas cryptic species found on V. aestivalis, V. labrusca and V. vinifera were revealed to be less specific. We reconstructed the recent host range expansion of P. viticola from wild to cultivated grapevines, and showed that it was accompanied by an increase in aggressiveness of the pathogen.


This case study on grapevine downy mildew illustrates how biotrophic plant pathogens can diversify by host plant specialization and emerge in agrosystems by shifting to cultivated hosts. These results might have important implications for viticulture, including breeding for resistance and disease management.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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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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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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The most valuable fruit introduction yet

The most valuable fruit introduction yet | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The Sacramento Bee has a nice piece by David Boulé1 about the history of the ‘Washington’ Navel Orange in California, the world’s second most common orange variety (after ‘Valencia’).

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In Memoriam Sidney Mintz

In Memoriam Sidney Mintz | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

It is no surprise that when the anthropologist Sidney Mintz died on December 26th, obituaries flooded the media.  I particularly liked this essay by a former graduate student, Sarah Hill.  To these...

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DivSeek calling

Do you know of projects genotyping or phenotyping crop germplasm on a massive scale? Well, because the folks at DivSeek are collating that kind of info for a “landscape study.” Leave comments here and I’ll get it to them.

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NBPGR’s genebank dashboard takes a bow

NBPGR’s genebank dashboard takes a bow | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Good to hear1 that the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in India has a new online “dashboard” summarizing data from its genebank, one of the largest in the world.2 There is a separate PGR Portal for searching the collection,...

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How Lao farmers can benefit from agro biodiversity in the rice field

The Lao agricultural sector is largely based on subsistence farming. Upland rice farmers in Laos depend on agro-biodiversity resources, including native spec...

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Bread, wine, chocolate: The slow loss of foods we love

Bread, wine, chocolate: The slow loss of foods we love | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The stunning variety of foods in American supermarkets hides a stunning lack of biodiversity behind our supersized diets.

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Climate change, food systems and nutrition: what’s to be done?

Climate change, food systems and nutrition: what’s to be done? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition has come out with a Statement on Climate Change, Food Systems and Nutrition, in the run-up to a side event at COP21 in Paris.
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A newsletter to conjure with

Well, I thought we had our finger on the agricultural biodiversity pulse, but this one is a new one on us:
Agrobiodiversity@knowledged is a joint Hivos and Oxfam Novib Knowledge Programme initiated in 2011.
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Model livestock information systems

Model livestock information systems | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Attentive readers will know I occasionally take swipes at the state of genetic resources information systems, both in the crops and domestic livestock areas.
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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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Not so sweet potatoes

Not so sweet potatoes | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

And speaking of Facebook, which has somehow become the go-to place for fun agrobiodiversity stuff, get a load of this recent photo of “bush potato” from the Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation.

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Southern India hosts fest to spread awareness on traditional food, agro biodiversity

A five-day food festival spreading awareness on traditional food and agro biodiversity concludes in India's southern state of Kerala.

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Crop gene banks are preserving the future of agriculture. But who’s preserving them?

As climate change makes crop diversity even more important, gene banks struggle to stay afloat.

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A sweet pea for charity

Thrive, the charity operating in the field of disability and gardening, has been named Thompson & Morgan’s Charity of the Year.

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'Readymade Food Replacing Ethnic Cuisine'

'Readymade Food Replacing Ethnic Cuisine' | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anoop Jacob said that the state is fast becoming a haven of food sold in packets. Readymade food is rei...

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Genebank data everywhere

Those who follow such things will no doubt be as excited as we are about the fact that USDA’s National Plant Germplasm System has just switched over from its old workhorse documentation system, GRIN, to the young pretender, GRIN-Global.
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Creating and Re-Creating Rice, Maize, and Chicken

Creating and Re-Creating Rice, Maize, and Chicken | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
We don’t just gather our food. We gather the raw materials and then we turn them into food. The skill and determination that have gone into making food inspire awe. One way we make food is by processing it (including cooking).
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