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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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GLOBAL: Interview with Nobel prize winner Elinor Ostrom on climate change

GLOBAL: Interview with Nobel prize winner Elinor Ostrom on climate change | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The governance of natural resources like land, the oceans, rivers and the atmosphere, can affect the impact of some of the world’s biggest crises caused by natural events like droughts and floods.

Via CGIAR Climate
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Bug becomes instantly resistant to insecticide by swallowing the right bacteria

Bug becomes instantly resistant to insecticide by swallowing the right bacteria | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Animals | Many insects eventually evolve to resist insecticides. This process typically takes many generations and involves tweaks to the insect’s genes. But there is a (RT @edyong209: Open-source resistance!
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Why Carrots are Orange (And 5 Non-Orange Carrots to Grow in Your Garden)

Why Carrots are Orange (And 5 Non-Orange Carrots to Grow in Your Garden) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The first carrots grown by farmers and gardeners were not orange. So why is orange the predominant color available today? (RT @ellengustafson: Interesting carrot history!
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HAPPY ROBIGALIA DAY! Why the Roman Empire feted male sex workers every April 25

HAPPY ROBIGALIA DAY! Why the Roman Empire feted male sex workers every April 25 | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
There are plenty of reasons I like American author Mack Friedman: I love his name because every time I say "Hey, Mack," I feel like I’m a gangster in an Edward G.
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Pakistan: Agri research key factor for achieving food security

Islamabad—Sardar Ghulam Mustafa, Director (Public Relations and Protocol), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council l(PARC) has said that Agricultural research is the key factor for achieving food security, therefore, PARC is focusing on emerging issues for advancement of agriculture sector.


Via CIMMYT, Int.
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An open letter to open up EU seed laws

There’s an open letter floating around that is addressed to Members of the European Parliament and to a variety of EU Commissioners for this that and the other.
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Did alder (Alnus) fires trigger rice cultivation in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, East China?

Did alder (Alnus) fires trigger rice cultivation in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, East China? | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Interesting, on role of burning in cultivation-domestication:

 

ScienceDirect.com - Palaeoworld -Abstract
It remains debatable as to how the prehistoric human communities managed the environment to enable the initial cultivation of rice during the early Neolithic in the coastal lower reaches of the Yangtze River, East China. Previous studies proposed an environmental context for the first rice cultivation at Kuahuqiao, Hangzhou, based on an archaeological sedimentary microfossil record that had been well-dated using radiocarbon methods. Those studies suggested that early humans began burning the predominantly alder scrub in a local swampy wetland, starting about 7750 cal. yr BP, which permitted the start of dedicated rice (Oryza) cultivation. Here we present a new, finer-detailed pollen-phytolith-microscopic charcoal record from the same locality. Our result reveals that local woods dominated by oak (Quercus) and pine (Pinus) were targeted for burning by early cultivators before the start of rice agriculture.


Via Dorian Q Fuller, diana buja
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Plant & Crop Science Blog: How to create resilient agriculture

Plant & Crop Science Blog: How to create resilient agriculture | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Economic growth with resilience to environmental threats will be central to the agenda of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June this year, which aims to map out a pathway of sustainable development for the planet.
The 'zero draft', the document that will form the basis of conference negotiations, states a resolve to fight hunger, eradicate poverty and work towards just and economically stable societies.
Food security is critical to this mission. The threats are numerous: repeated food price spikes; shortages of good-quality land and water; rising energy and fertiliser prices; and the consequences of climate change.
Already, somewhere between 900 million and a billion people are chronically hungry, and by 2050 agriculture will have to cope with these threats while feeding a growing population with changing dietary demands. This will require doubling food production, especially if we are to build up reserves for climatic extremes.
To do this requires sustainable intensification — getting more from less — on a durable basis.


Via Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
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Mapping the 1970 corn blight

Mapping the 1970 corn blight | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Here are my 2 maps for this discussion. I used linear regression to predict corn yield for each county in the US, using time (year) as the independent variable. I used the years 1950 to 1969 to create the model, and to predict corn yield in 1970.
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Ministry to establish multi million animal gene bank - Coastweek

Ministry to establish multi million animal gene bank - Coastweek | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
CoastweekMinistry to establish multi million animal gene bankCoastweekNAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will set up an animal gene bank at a cost of 3.6 million US dollars next year, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
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Evidence of reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt maize

RT @MarcelGutCo: @Calestous The title of the post is alarming.
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Renaissance of the Danish 'Bacon Pig'

Renaissance of the Danish 'Bacon Pig' | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
ThePigSite.comRenaissance of the Danish 'Bacon Pig'ThePigSite.comThe committee's gene bank, situated at AU Foulum, has frozen semen from seven different boars and frozen embryos.
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A chance in the wild

A chance in the wild | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Scientists are scouring the deep and “wild” end of the rice gene pool to help find hidden traits and genes that can help breed new rice varieties better at thriving and producing food in difficult environments.
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BGI picking off CG Centres one by one

ICRISAT is the latest CGIAR Centre to get into bed with the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), following IRRI and CIAT.
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Is this the banana your grandchildren will eat? - Boing Boing

Is this the banana your grandchildren will eat? - Boing Boing | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
RT @BoingBoing: Is this the banana your grandchildren will eat?
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BGI

BGI | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
With a goal of excellence, high efficiency, and accuracy, BGI has successfully completed a large numerous projects.
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Tricky stuff, extinction rates

There’s a BBC radio programme called More or Less that I like a lot, mostly because it takes the trouble to think about things. A new series has just started, and I was thrilled to see that the programme was going to tackle extinction rates.
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Pitfalls in modeling the effects of climate change on genetic diversity

Don’t you just hate it when a striking message from an elegant model is complicated by, well, facts? I may have Nibbled a press release on a recent modeling study from Wageningen University.
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South Africa's Rooibos Tea Attracts Starbucks - BusinessWeek (blog)

South Africa's Rooibos Tea Attracts Starbucks - BusinessWeek (blog) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
South Africa's Rooibos Tea Attracts StarbucksBusinessWeek (blog)By Mike Cohen on April 17, 2012 Business is brisk these days for the 600 or so growers of rooibos, a caffeine-free herbal tea unique to South Africa's Western Cape province whose...

Via diana buja
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PLoS Pathogens: The Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: Origin and Evolution of a Beneficial Plant Infection

PLoS Pathogens: The Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: Origin and Evolution of a Beneficial Plant Infection | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

Nicolas Corradi and Paola Bonfante from Canada and Italy review an ancient and ecologically critical fungal lineage: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) represent a monophyletic fungal lineage (Glomeromycota) that benefits terrestrial ecosystems worldwide by establishing an intimate association with the roots of most land plants: the mycorrhizal symbiosis. This relationship results in an improved acquisition of nutrients (e.g., phosphate and nitrates) from the soil by the plant partners and, in exchange, allows the AMF to obtain the photosynthetically fixed carbon sources (e.g., sugars) necessary for their survival and propagation [1], [2] (Figure 1). This fungal lineage is known to impact the function and biodiversity of entire ecosystems by producing extensive underground networks, composed of hyphae and spores, that interconnect a number of unrelated individual plant species [1], [2]. These networks also function as a significant sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide, and represent significant underground “nutrient highways” that benefit entire plant and microbial communities. Indeed, AMF spores and hyphae are also a valuable source of food for many soil microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, other fungi, and nematodes), and because of their many beneficial effects on terrestrial ecosystems, AMF are widely used in organic agriculture and plant nurseries to improve the growth of economically important species.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Pat Heslop-Harrison, Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
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US government blames maize yield losses on Southern Corn Leaf Blight

US government blames maize yield losses on Southern Corn Leaf Blight | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Our friend Jacob’s Google-fu is stronger than mine. He found this annotated graph of maize yields in the US.
See how they’ve claimed that blight reduced yields by 18% in 1970?
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Food security to top agenda at Arab agricultural forum - Oman Tribune

Food security to top agenda at Arab agricultural forum - Oman Tribune | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Food security to top agenda at Arab agricultural forumOman TribuneArab food programme, implementation of the first stage of Arab food security emergency programme, botanical gene bank and Arab network for regional banks of animal genetic resources...
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Seed bank up and running - Stock and Land

Seed bank up and running - Stock and Land | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Seed bank up and runningStock and LandThe new facility will be known as the Australian Grains Genebank. It will work in conjunction with other collections, such as the Tamworth Seed Bank in NSW to create a national genetic resource system.
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Vanuatu to share its agro-biodiversity

Vanuatu to share its agro-biodiversity | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Radio New Zealand InternationalVanuatu to share its agro-biodiversityRadio New Zealand InternationalShe says these new planting materials are in local crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, taros and yams have already been distributed to the farmers.
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Blight is right: genetic uniformity was to blame

Blight is right: genetic uniformity was to blame | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The Southern Corn Leaf Blight epidemic that struck the US in 1970 is usually seen as a canonical example of the dangers of genetic uniformity. I use it that way myself, often.
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