Commit f8c181de authored by jeremycherfas's avatar jeremycherfas
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Four new crops and renaming

parent 5769da98
Title: breadfruit-01
Author: Jeremy Cherfas
Date: 22 September 2016
Format: snippet
#Breadfruit
##*Artocarpus* spp
Breadfruit is a large, starchy fruit that grows on trees up to 25 m tall. It gets its name from the texture of the partially-ripe fruit when cooked, which resembles freshly-baked bread. Genesys lists [272 accessions of *Artocarpus* species][https://goo.gl/t4xltE], all but two of them in the USA. The majority (78%) are traditional cultivars and landraces, with about 10% advanced cultivars.
Several members of the genus have edible fruits. The two most common in Genesys are true breadfruit (*A. altilis*) and jackfruit (*A. heterophyllus*). The database also lists several hybrids.
Breadfruit is native to the South Pacific region. Polynesians adopted breadfruit as a staple and first distributed the crop on their travels around the Pacific. Other people then took it further afield, most notably on the infamous [voyage of HMS Bounty][wikipedia]. Jackfruit is believed to have been first cultivated in India and is now found throughout southeast Asia.
Most of the accessions are maintained by [The Breadfruit Institute][ntbg] in a field genebank at the US National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii.
[ntbg]: http://ntbg.org/breadfruit/collection/
[wikipedia]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bligh#The_voyage_of_Bounty
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Title: cassava-01
Author: Jeremy Cherfas
Date: 4 October 2016
Format: snippet
#Cassava
##*Manihot esculenta*
Cassava (*Manihot esculenta*) is a perennial woody shrub with edible roots. It grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world and is also called yuca, manioc and mandioca, along with many other local names.
The crop has been cultivated in tropical America for probably about 10,000 years. It was introduced to Africa by Portuguese traders during the 16th century and later to Asia, both from Africa and from the Americas. It is now grown in more than 90 countries and provides food and income for 500 million people in the developing world. In large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and in parts of Latin America and southeast Asia, cassava provides a major daily source of dietary energy.
Genesys lists more than [9,000 accessions of cassava][goo], 75% of them traditional cultivars or landraces. The majority of accessions are maintained as [*in-vitro* plants by CIAT][ciat] in Colombia, with a slightly [smaller number at IITA][iita] in Nigeria. Both institutes are actively using cassava genetic resources to breed improved varieties.
IITA is a member of the Nextgen Cassava Project, which maintains [Cassavabase][cassavabase]. The database includes results of agronomic trials. [CIAT's research partnerships][cgiar] include Corporación CLAYUCA, which promotes the development and spread of improved technologies for cassava production and processing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
[cassavabase]: https://www.cassavabase.org
[cgiar]: https://ciat.cgiar.org/cassava-research
[ciat]: http://isa.ciat.cgiar.org/urg/cassavacollection.do
[goo]: https://goo.gl/Vvb8KM
[iita]: http://www.iita.org/genetic-resources
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Title: chickpea-01
Author: Jeremy Cherfas
Date: f October 2016
Format: snippet
#Chickpea
##*Cicer arietinum*
Chickpea is a cool-season legume first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and now cultivated worldwide, second only to soybean in terms of area. India is the global leader in both production and consumption of chickpea.
There are about 55,000 [chickpea accessions listed in Genesys][goo]. The two largest collections are at ICRISAT in India and ICARDA in Lebanon, with additional important collections in the USA, Turkey and Russia. More than half (58%) of the listed accessions are traditional cultivars and landraces, with just over 30% as breeding material and improved varieties. Wild relatives currently make up 1.5% of the accessions.
ICARDA and ICRISAT achieved considerable success with [chickpea breeding][icrisat], releasing several varieties with disease resistance and ability to withstand abiotic stresses. These varieties have had considerable [impact in many countries][cgiar]. Most recently, ICARDA and ICRISAT, working with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, released [three new varieties][cgiar 2] for high altitude areas that combine early maturity, better yield and resistance to wilt, root rot and ascochyta blight.
ICARDA led a consortium that sequenced the [chickpea genome][nature], information from which is now part of advanced breeding strategies. ICARDA also provides access to sequence data through [CicArMiSatDB][icrisat 2]
[cgiar]: http://grainlegumes.cgiar.org/impacts/chickpea-impacts/
[cgiar 2]: http://grainlegumes.cgiar.org/high-yielding-and-disease-resistant-chickpea-varieties-released-in-ethiopia/
[icrisat]: http://exploreit.icrisat.org/page/chickpea/685/109
[icrisat 2]: http://cicarmisatdb.icrisat.org
[nature]: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v31/n3/full/nbt.2491.html
[goo]: https://goo.gl/JFQuKm
Title: coconut-01
Author: Jeremy Cherfas
Date: 5 October 2016
Format: snippet
#Coconut
##*Cocos nucifera*
Coconuts are the fruit of a palm and are found throughout the tropics. Coconuts supply many human needs, including food, drink and building materials. Their ability to survive long periods in seawater, and their value to early seafaring people, has resulted in them being widely dispersed.
There are two distinct types, known as *niu kafa* and *niu vai*, the names in Samoan for traditional Polynesian varieties. *Niu kafa* coconuts are triangular and oblong with a large fibrous husk, while *niu vai* types are more rounded and contain plentiful sweet coconut “water” when unripe. *Niu vai* types are often borne on dwarf trees, which suggests that they are more domesticated. However, [a DNA analysis][plos] indicates two independent centres of domestication, one in island Southeast Asia and one on the southern margins of the Indian subcontinent. *Niu vai* types arose only in the Pacific basin.
Genesys lists [168 coconut accessions][goo]. The bulk of these (86%) are in a field genebank at the Station de Recherche Marc Delorme in Ivory Coast, with the remainder in the USA. About 43% are traditional cultivars and landraces and 40% are improved cultivars.
The difficulty of controlling pollination, with the flowers at the top of tall trees, makes it difficult and costly to regenerate field collections as the trees age. Furthermore, field genebanks face external threats from diseases and, potentially, climate change. A plan has been launched to [safeguard the International Coconut Genebank in Papua New Guinea][cogentnetwork] from nearby disease. Research into [cryopreservation of coconut][ishs] is continuing and [shows promise][ishs 2].
[cogentnetwork]: http://www.cogentnetwork.org/53-news/197-international-coconut-genebank-rescue-plan-launched-in-png
[goo]: https://goo.gl/1XIKbT
[ishs]: http://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/1039_37
[ishs 2]: http://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/908_59
[plos]: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021143
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