Agricultural Biodiversity
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Saina for genetic conservation of plants to fight poverty - Hindu Business Line

Saina for genetic conservation of plants to fight poverty Hindu Business Line “ICRISAT's RS Paroda Genebank is a treasure trove of genes useful to crop improvement for sustainable food production and improved livelihoods, particularly in marginal...
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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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Measuring the success of botanical gardens

Good to see Botanic Gardens Conservation International first technical review online, entitled Defining the botanic garden, and how to measure performance and success. The definition part turns out to be a compendium of “criteria useful in defining a botanic garden.”
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How many genebanks are there in the world?

The UN Statistics Division (UNSD) is responsible for bringing together data on the Sustainable Development Goals, and does a generally pretty good job of explaining the just-agreed targets and indicators on its new(ish) website. Let’s remind ourselves that Goal 2
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Indigenous agricultural practices hold key to maintaining biodiversity & mitigating climate change

Indigenous agricultural practices hold key to maintaining biodiversity & mitigating climate change | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
In early May 2017, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food hosted its 2nd International Dialogue with over 250 food systems leaders from the local to the global, to gain deeper insights into the connections between climate change and food systems, to craft visions of the food systems we need...
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CILY in cassava: not so fast

So it turns out the article the previous post on the possibility of Côte d’Ivoire lethal yellowing phytoplasma (CILY) attacking cassava in that country may have been a bit premature. Dr Lava Kumar, virologist and Head of Germplasm Health Unit
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Creating a Global Seed Conservation Directory

This form will be used to populate an online Seed Conservation Knowledge Hub – a directory of facilities, individuals, and expertise in all aspects of seed conservation. Your participation completing this form is supporting the development of a tool that
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Photographing VIR

Swiss (I think) photographer Mario Del Curto has a book out about the Vavilov Institute, called The Seeds of the Earth. I’ve just found out about it at The Eye of Photography, but there’s a better blurb on the website
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Geoffrey Hawtin, Chairman of CIAT’s Board of Trustees, awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire | CIAT Blog

Geoffrey Hawtin, Chairman of CIAT’s Board of Trustees, awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire | CIAT Blog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin, Chairman of CIAT’s Board of Trustees, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This honour was presented as part of the Queen’s Elizabeth II Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June.
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Seed saving in Tanzania in the spotlight

An article in Mint Press News suggests that a new law in Tanzania will not only give foreign investors “faster and easier access to agricultural land in the African nation, as well as strong protections for ‘intellectual property rights,’ e.g.,
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A roundabout way of learning about caroselli

Another despatch just in from our correspondent in Puglia, last seen checking out the olive plague. This time she sends us pictures of something called “cumazzi,” which is a new one on me. They are not cucumbers exactly. Easy to
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Using crop wild relatives in situ for improving sugar beet

Thanks to Brian Ford-Lloyd, Emeritus Professor of Plant Conservation Genetics at the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, for this contribution, hopefully the first of many. Aside from beet cyst nematode, rhizomania is the most important disease of sugar beet
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Vote for African veggies!!

Great to see a project on African Leafy Vegetables in western Kenya in the running for the Farming for Biodiversity prize at Solution Search. Here’s what they say about return on investment: The ROI is 39%. The budget was US
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Maize for Haiti; but from Haiti?

Good news for hard-pressed Haitian farmers. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has grown 150 tons of renewed, improved maize seed that will be sent to Haitian farmers to help jump-start the country’s seed sector, improve local food
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Maize Diversity, Market Access, and Poverty Reduction in the Western Highlands of Guatemala

Maize Diversity, Market Access, and Poverty Reduction in the Western Highlands of Guatemala | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Jon Hellin, Rachael Cox, and Santiago López-Ridaura (2017) Maize Diversity, Market Access, and Poverty Reduction in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Mountain Research and Development: Vol. 37, Open Issue, pp. 188-197. https://doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-16-00065.1
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Restoring agricultural systems, one field at a time

I know I Nibbled both of these things already, but I think it’s worth highlighting them again, and putting them together. I’m referring to two attempts to restore agricultural system, both, as it happens, involving sophisticated water management. Here’s billionaire
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Domesticating horsegram

The indefatigable Dorian Fuller has been even less fatigable than usual lately, with a couple of papers in the past few weeks on the history of the horsegram, Macrotyloma uniflorum. The first is a general review of the geographical, linguistic
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Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia | Anatolian Studies | Cambrid...

Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia | Anatolian Studies | Cambrid... | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia - Volume 67 - Amy Bogaard, Dragana Filipović, Andrew Fairbairn, Laura Green, Elizabeth Stroud, Dorian Fuller, Michael Charles

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, July 19, 12:47 AM
An updated synthesis on 20 years of archaeobotanical sampling and research at Catalhoyuk, a site remarkably large for the Neolithic and long-lasting, and thus suggesting a highly effective and sustainable agricultural system. Nevertheless, there are some key shifts in the choice of staple cereals, pulses and the extent of use of wild plant foods.
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Scientists condemn expansion of industrial monocultures at expense of traditional gardens in Mexico

Scientists condemn expansion of industrial monocultures at expense of traditional gardens in Mexico | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Conservation scientists meeting in Mexico are warning that planned expansion of industrial monocultures in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula poses a threat to traditional agricultural practices that help maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function. At the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), which involved 750 participants from more than 40 […]
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Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion

Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The prehistoric settlement of Madagascar by people from distant Southeast Asia has long captured both scholarly and public imagination, but on the ground evidence for this colonization has eluded archaeologists for decades. Our study provides the first, to our knowledge, archaeological evidence for an early Southeast Asian presence in Madagascar and reveals that this settlement extended to the Comoros. Our findings point to a complex Malagasy settlement history and open new research avenues for linguists, geneticists, and archaeologists to further study the timing and process of this population movement. They also provide insight into early processes of Indian Ocean biological exchange and in particular, Madagascar’s floral introductions, which account for one-tenth of its current vascular plant species diversity.

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, July 12, 2016 9:26 AM
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, July 12, 2016 1:13 PM
This study documents that arrival of Asian rice in SE Africa and Madagascar from the 8th century AD
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The shocking news about breeding for flavour

Luigi linked, with scarcely a comment, to a plant breeding paper by Kevin Folta, scourge of biotech deniers everywhere. Stripped down, what Folta and his co-author, Harry J Klee, propose is that plant breeders “can now turn to the consumer
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FAO rolls out agricultural apps

This just in: FAO, along with several partners, is involved in the implementation of ICT initiatives in Africa. The majority of family farmers in developing countries live rural areas and in most cases don’t have access to technology and digital
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Agrobiodiversity as a Critical and Emerging Issue in the 2nd note by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition | Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research

Agrobiodiversity was identified as one of the nine main critical and/or emerging issues in the second note by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) that was requested by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
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Scientist Daniel Debouck receives the highest recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium | CIAT Blog

Scientist Daniel Debouck receives the highest recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium | CIAT Blog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Daniel Debouck, a researcher in CIAT’s Genetic Resources Program, received the Order of Leopold, the highest recognition that the Kingdom of Belgium bestows, for his 40 years of scientific work. In an emotional ceremony held this past Wednesday at CIAT, Jeroen Cooreman, Belgian ambassador to...
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Plant threat assessments online

A tweet from Global Trees Campaign, reporting from the Botanical Gardens Congress, reminded me of a BGCI online tool that I haven’t yet blogged about, at least here. Using @bgci's databases to identify the gaps in tree conservation #TreeTuesday #6gbgc
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Help make Genesys better

I’ve often pontificated about Genebank Database Hell here, I’m sure to the annoyance of many readers. But we do have a chance to do something about at least one little corner of hell. If you want to do your bit,
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Tackling iron and zinc deficiencies with ‘better’ bread - ACS (2017) 

Tackling iron and zinc deficiencies with ‘better’ bread - ACS (2017)  | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

The health effects of zinc and iron deficiencies can be devastating, particularly in developing countries. One strategy for addressing this problem involves fertilizing crops with the micronutrients. But no one has yet figured out whether these added nutrients end up in food products made with the fortified crops. Now researchers report... that this type of biofortification can boost micronutrients in bread, but other factors are also important.

Anemia affects more than 30 percent of the world’s population, and many cases are due to iron deficiency... Many of the same people are also affected by zinc deficiencies. These conditions can lead to impaired growth, neurological problems and even early death. To combat deficiencies in iron and zinc, the nutrients can be applied to crops, so they will ultimately end up in food products. But few studies have investigated whether the... practice of foliar fertilization – applying micronutrients to leaves – has the desired result... 

Fertilizing an old variety of wheat crop increased its flour’s concentration of zinc by more than 78 percent. Iron levels remained about the same regardless of whether varieties were biofortified; however, the old variety in the study had higher concentrations... than the modern variety... Milling grains, regardless of whether they came from biofortified crops, into whole wheat flour versus white flour resulted in higher levels of iron, zinc and other health-promoting compounds, including antioxidants... The process of bread-making slightly changed iron and zinc concentrations, but greatly boosted their bioavailability by 77 and 70 percent... 


Biofortification, milling technique and baking should all factor into strategies for enhancing bread with iron and zinc for fighting deficiencies.


https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2017/june/tackling-iron-and-zinc-deficiencies-with-better-bread.html


Underlying study: http://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b01176



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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, June 29, 12:43 PM
Older crop varieties may have higher iron levels, because for a long time the primary breeding objective had been to increase yields (and avert imminent famines), not to increase their mineral content. However, this is changing now – not least because the threat of famines diminished while the consequences of micronutrient deficiencies became better understood – and efforts are under way to breed key staple crops for higher levels of essential vitamins and minerals. This study seems to suggest that to address iron deficiency, the best approach is indeed to breed iron-rich varieties, while for zinc deficiency also the application of mineral fertiliser can be a good option.