Agricultural Biodiversity
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RTB's banana breeder

Rony Swennen, a Belgian university professor with a foot in both Bioversity and
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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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Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food

Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Preserving the genetic diversity of edible plants could help us develop new crop varieties, with useful traits such as drought and disease-resistance.
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European community genebanks organize – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

European community genebanks organize – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Yes, even Europe has community seed banks, and a website to tell you all about them. Here’s where they are: A lot more than I thought.
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Mapping crop names – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Mapping crop names – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
A tweet by James Wong a couple of days ago, that reproduced a map from a paper from a few years back showing the spread of the words for sweet potato around the world had me searching the dark recesses of my brain, and the interwebs, for similar maps. Recently there was one for tea, … Continue reading "Mapping crop names"
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Household Determinants of the Adoption of Improved Cassava Varieties using DNA Fingerprinting to Identify Varieties in Farmer Fields: A Case Study in Colombia

Household Determinants of the Adoption of Improved Cassava Varieties using DNA Fingerprinting to Identify Varieties in Farmer Fields: A Case Study in Colombia | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Household Determinants of the Adoption of Improved Cassava Varieties using DNA Fingerprinting to Identify Varieties in Farmer Fields: A Case Study in Colombia  Authors Floro IV, Victorino O. Martinez, Jose M.
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Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems | FAO

The book is the first step in the process of creating such an index, which can measure agricultural biodiversity across different dimensions. The concept grew from the observation – based on a scientific paper on levels of crop diversity produced compared to levels of crop diversity imported –...
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Spreading the good news about forages – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

I know I Nibbled it, but I think it’s worth giving a bit more space to the tropical forages newsletter Forages for the Future, edited by Bruce Pengelly and Brigitte Maass. In Brigitte’s words: “The newsletter is meant to start re-building a community that is interested and engaged in tropical and subtropical forage genetic resources, … Continue reading "Spreading the good news about forages"
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Gikuru kiega no kiratina – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Gikuru kiega no kiratina – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
I’ve been dipping into my newly-acquired copy of the recent reprint of L.S.B Leakey’s classic The Southern Kikuyu Before 1903, and as luck would have it I happened on this: Was not aware that Kenyans needed a reason for beer parties.
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Reuters: Scientists fear resurgence of devastating wheat disease in Britain and Europe (2018)

Reuters: Scientists fear resurgence of devastating wheat disease in Britain and Europe (2018) | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it

A devastating disease that attacks barley and wheat - the world's most widely grown crop - could re-emerge in Britain, scientists said on Thursday.

 

Over 80 percent of 57 wheat varieties tested in Britain are susceptible to the strain of stem rust that was discovered in an infected plant in Suffolk in 2013, the first time the disease has reappeared since 1955, they said.

 

The same strain battered wheat crops in Ethiopia, and caused smaller outbreaks in Sweden, Denmark and Germany in 2013, a study in the journal Communications Biology said.

 

These outbreaks, as well as the infection in Britain, are "a warning sign" to take immediate action, Diane Saunders, a plant pathologist at the UK-based John Innes Centre and lead author of the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

Stem rust can devastate wheat, the source of food and livelihoods for more than 1 billion people in developing countries, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

 

It could wipe out 70 percent or more of the crop, turning a healthy looking crop, only weeks away from harvest, into a tangle of black stems and shrivelled grains, the agency said.

 

The risks posed by wheat rusts are growing, with modern versions of the fungus becoming ever more virulent, evolving to adapt to the earth's higher temperatures, the FAO said.

 

Breeding wheat varieties resistant to the disease is key to controlling it and this can take a long time, Saunders said.

 

"Even if we have a resistant wheat line today that we just developed, it would take 10 years to get them to market," she said in a phone interview.

 

"There's very little resistance within our wheat varieties and if we did have an outbreak today, it could be quite devastating."

 

In the meantime, barberry bushes - an alternate host for stem rust - should not be planted near arable lands to prevent them from facilitating sexual reproduction and the re-infection of cereal crops, said Saunders.

 

The study's authors said they discovered stem rust in a barberry bush "within a meter of a barley field" in 2017.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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In Bellagio, experts devise a global system to stop crop diseases in their tracks | CIAT Blog

In Bellagio, experts devise a global system to stop crop diseases in their tracks | CIAT Blog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The presence of a plant disease is a sensitive issue for some countries. Some governments hesitate to acknowledge that especially if their economies depend on the affected crops, fearing it would trigger investment pullout or hurt trade.
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Opportunities for seedy people – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Two related (sort of) opportunities for you today. First, if you’re a young agricultural economist with an interest in impact assessment, you may want to check out the Crop Trust-CGIAR “Genebank Impacts Fellowship Program.” And second, if you want to study how to tweak seed systems and thus increase those genebank impacts, have a look … Continue reading "Opportunities for seedy people"
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O Canadian genebank, we stand on guard for thee – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

O Canadian genebank, we stand on guard for thee – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Art Napoleon is a Canadian “TV producer/songwriter/adventurer/wild game foodie…weekend shape-shifter & extreme berry picker,” which sounds like a pretty cool gig. You can watch him talk about Canadian agriculture, and the role the national genebanks plays in it, on the documentary Food for Thought. He visits the genebank about 16 minutes in, but watch the … Continue reading "O Canadian genebank, we stand on guard for thee"
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Genebank users grinning globally – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

USDA just announced an update to their instance of GRIN-Global, the genebank data management system, where you can explore the holdings of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System at your leisure. From there the data finds its way to Genesys, where you can compare US holdings with those of other contributing genebanks. Perhaps the most … Continue reading "Genebank users grinning globally"
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Can Markets Save Agricultural Diversity?: Quinoa as a Case Study

Can Markets Save Agricultural Diversity?: Quinoa as a Case Study | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Quinoa’s Exceptional Interspecific Diversity Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) has been cultivated in the Andean highlands for millennia. Domesticated five thousand to seven thousand years ago by agriculturalists living along the shores of Lake Titicaca, quinoa is one of only a handful of crops to survive in the Andean Altiplano’s harsh clime. In fact, quinoa thrives at […]
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Stirring up a rabbit controversy – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

In 600 AD… …Pope Gregory the Great … decreed that laurices — newborn or fetal rabbits — didn’t count as meat. Christians could therefore eat them during Lent. They became a popular delicacy, and hungry monks started breeding them. Their work transformed the wild, skittish European rabbit into a tame domestic animal that tolerates humans. … Continue reading "Stirring up a rabbit controversy"
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Spatial data everywhere – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Spatial data everywhere – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Looks like mapping is in the air. Hardly had I finished messing around with European trees maps that I ran across this random dump of Brazilian crop distribution data. The source is given as the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), but I was not able to find the original maps there. I still … Continue reading "Spatial data everywhere"
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European forest conservationists move to Bonn – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

European forest conservationists move to Bonn – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
I’m not sure if it’s been formally announced, but the Secretariat of the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme has moved to Bonn. I know because they’re hosted by the European Forestry Institute just a floor below the offices of the Global Crop Diversity Trust where I work. Among other things, EUFORGEN manages the European Information … Continue reading "European forest conservationists move to Bonn"
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Climate change and crop diversity: farmers’ perceptions and adaptation on the Bolivian Altiplano

Climate change and crop diversity: farmers’ perceptions and adaptation on the Bolivian Altiplano | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Climate change and crop diversity: farmers’ perceptions and adaptation on the Bolivian Altiplano View/Open  Authors Meldrum, G. Mijatovic, D. Rojas, W. Flores, J. Pinto, M. Mamani, G. Condori, E. Hilaquita, D. Gruberg, H. Padulosi, S.
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Examples of ABS wanted – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

As part of BGCI’s Darwin Initiative project with the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, BGCI is gathering practical examples of measures that ex situ collections, research institutions and their networks are taking to ensure that they acquire, use and transfer plant genetic resources and share benefits in compliance with national and international laws, respecting the rights of … Continue reading "Examples of ABS wanted"
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Access to genes: linkages between genebanks and farmers’ seed systems

Access to genes: linkages between genebanks and farmers’ seed systems | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Genebanks conserve key resources for handling current and future challenges to food production and security. The role of genebanks has evolved from primarily serving plant breeders t
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Early warning of crop diseases, and hopefully more – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Early warning of crop diseases, and hopefully more – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
CIAT scientist Monica Carvajal wants to develop a global crop disease surveillance system: The system…will go beyond using the smartest tools to detect pathogens, which refer to organisms that harm plants such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, and phytoplasma. It will also include recommendations on how to best communicate the presence of emerging diseases to authorities … Continue reading "Early warning of crop diseases, and hopefully more"
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National inventory and prioritization of crop wild relatives in Spain

National inventory and prioritization of crop wild relatives in Spain | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Crop wild relatives (CWR) have recently received significant attention due to their value as plant genetic resources and their contribution to world food security. We present a prioritize
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Martha has a winner! – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Meet Jennifer! She is passionate about plants and her donation to the @CropTrust won her a trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with @MarthaStewart. ❄️🌱Thank you to all who donated to this incredible cause! pic.twitter.com/KbmF7WKh7Q — Prizeo (@Prizeo) February 2, 2018 Congratulations, Jennifer. Have a great time.
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Illustrated guide to the landraces of Ecuador – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

Illustrated guide to the landraces of Ecuador – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
The Field Museum’s 800-odd field guides cover a whole bunch of stuff, from the plants of the Araripe-Apodi National Park in Brazil to the bats of Mindanao. But I’m pretty sure there’s only one on landraces, and that covers Ecuador. It’s just out, and it includes photos of about a hundred traditional cereal, legume and … Continue reading "Illustrated guide to the landraces of Ecuador"
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A lovely bunch of coconuts under threat – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A lovely bunch of coconuts under threat – Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
A Pavlovsk-like situation may be developing in Côte d’Ivoire. There have been rumours circulating for some months that the Marc Delorme Research Station of the Centre national de recherche agronomique (CNRA), home to one of the major coconut genebanks of the world, was threatened with redevelopment. Well, things have just got real. A representative of … Continue reading "A lovely bunch of coconuts under threat"
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Assessing the role of market integration in the consumption of traditional foods in Benin: a joint price instability coefficient and diet composition approach

Assessing the role of market integration in the consumption of traditional foods in Benin: a joint price instability coefficient and diet composition approach | Agricultural Biodiversity | Scoop.it
Globalization-driven food trade policies and the transformations of food regimes have led to modernizing food habits and the growing substitution of traditional foods by introduced/industrialized foods in the diets of urban people in sub-Saharan Africa. Such changes in food consumption habits are suspected to be associated with the increasing prevalence of some non-transmittable food-related diseases in the region. The role food markets play in food substitution in the diets needs to be understood. This study analyzes the effects of differential market integration on the consumption of the two types of foods in Southern Benin. Market integration was assessed using the reciprocal of the gap in price instability coefficients between markets (G) and calculated using monthly prices series over the “July 2009–July 2011” period. The findings indicate that markets in the Allada market cluster are more integrated for introduced foods (G = 5.3) than traditional foods (G = 4.3). The integration of primary, assembly, and rural consumer markets with the Bohicon regional market is by far higher for introduced foods (G = 5.3) than traditional foods (G = 1.2). The results in Toffo market cluster were comparable, in spite of less reliable data. The district-level rural markets are more integrated among themselves than with the regional market, either for traditional foods or introduced foods. Considering that most of the latter are processed foods, the result tends to indicate that food processing would trigger greater market integration. Therefore, policies that promote processing and trade of locally produced traditional foods should be implemented. Indeed, processing is key among the factors that increase urban consumers’ preferences for introduced foods against traditional foods. On the contrary, the hypothesis which asserts that low levels of market integration among traditional foods contribute to their disappearance in people’s diets is rejected. Indeed, diets in rural areas of Benin are still dominated by “traditional foods.” However, the growing trend in the consumption of imported low nutritional value foods should be controlled by appropriate food production and trade policies.
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