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WARFARIN from moldy hay of sweet clover Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis infected with Penicillium nigricans and Penicillium jensi Photos by Elizabeth.

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Presentation on theme: "WARFARIN from moldy hay of sweet clover Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis infected with Penicillium nigricans and Penicillium jensi Photos by Elizabeth."— Presentation transcript:

1 WARFARIN from moldy hay of sweet clover Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis infected with Penicillium nigricans and Penicillium jensi Photos by Elizabeth J. Czarapata Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Plant of the Day:

2 WARFARIN from moldy hay of sweet clover Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis infected with Penicillium nigricans and Penicillium jensi Photo from Johnny’s Selected Seeds Coumarin in sweet clover converted to dicoumarin by molds Anticoagulant killed cattle in 1920s and 1930s Karl Paul Link and graduate student Mark Stahmann identified dicoumadins Named after WARF (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) because they provided $$$ Use as rat poison and then medical use vs. blood clotting (e.g., to prevent heat attacks). Plant of the Day:

3 Bridget O'Donnel image from Wikimedia Commonshttp://www.ccsdedtech.com/cc/projects/scrapbook/ potato/PotatoDinner.gif “Irish Potato Famine” caused by a water mold and by genetic uniformity of potatoes Conservation of Crop Genetic Diversity Why conserve crop genetic diversity? Example 1

4 Conservation of Crop Genetic Diversity Southern corn leaf blight epidemic (1970) USA-wide epidemic leading to a loss of 15% of corn production in USA Some southern states lost half of crop and half of farmers Uniformity! All had same cytoplasm (chloroplast genome) because male sterility made hybridization easier. Why conserve crop genetic diversity? Example 2

5 Rice is the major staple for half of humanity Facing climate change International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, Philippines Image source:

6 Facing climate change Image source: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, Philippines

7 Drought and disease threaten YOUR coffee. Photos: Above: Tim Johnson/MCT/Landov Right: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters/Landov Below: International Center for Tropical Agriculture/Flickr

8 Figure 1 Genetic bottlenecks imposed on crop plants during domestication and through modern plant-breeding practices. S D Tanksley, and S R McCouch Science 1997;277: Published by AAAS Crop wild relatives (CWR)

9 Figure 4 (Left) Wild rice species O. rufipogon from Malaysia. [Photo courtesy of C. Martinez, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical] (Right) Modern rice variety from China. S D Tanksley, and S R McCouch Science 1997;277: Published by AAAS Crop wild relatives

10 Figure 5 (A) Wild tomato species L. hirsutum from Peru that produces small, inedible fruit that does not turn red upon ripening. S D Tanksley, and S R McCouch Science 1997;277: Published by AAAS Crop wild relatives

11 History of concern about crop genetic resources since 1970s Southern corn leaf blight 1970 some southern states lost half of crop and half of farmers would have been worse if weather had not changed uniformity due to the use of “T cytoplasm” – male sterility made hybridization easier IBPGR and CGIAR formed in 1970s IBPGR, International Board of Plant Genetic Resources Later IPGRI, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute Now “Bioversity International” CGIAR -- Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research –15 International centers CIP, CIMMYT, IRRI, CIAT, etc. and national programs Grass-roots conservation organizations Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) Native Seeds / SEARCH

12 Crop Genetic Resources Germplasm = “The bearer of the characteristic nature of the species and of the individual” ( (Weissman 1883) Germplasm includes ALL of these: traditional cultivars (AKA: landraces, primitive cultivars, folk varieties, farmers’ varieties) wild relatives weedy relatives “advanced” or “modern” commercial cultivars advanced breeding lines, “elite” germplasm

13 The value of genetic diversity For plant breeders – diversity is the raw material for future crop improvement Landraces (= traditional or folk cultivars) with traits for pest resistance, yield, flavor, nutrition, drought resistance, salinity tolerance, etc. –An example: Harlan’s “miserable” wheat in handout. Wild relatives have contributed to crops genes for disease and pest resistance, wider adaptation (climate), improved quality (protein, oil, flavor, soluble solids), self-fertility, short stature, etc.. –Surprising alleles (e.g., alleles to improve cotton fibers from wild relatives that do not have fibers on seeds.)

14 Harlan’s “miserable wheat” quote

15 The value of genetic diversity For traditional farmers – diversity for food security adaptation to specific local conditions (deeply rooted Hopi maize) risk reduction – dependable harvest in unfavorable conditions (see handout example) favored foods, symbols of identity may be more suited to marginal lands and conditions than “Green Revolution” HYV (high yielding varieties), which are not necessarily efficient in scarce resources (require high inputs of water and nitrogen)

16 Hernandez-X. quote (cited by Wilkes)

17 Two complementary conservation strategies: Ex-situ conservation = collecting and preserving in germplasm banks, botanical gardens, etc. (not in the plant’s natural habitat) In-situ conservation = “in place” or “on farm” landraces on traditional farms, wild species in their natural habitats

18 Conservation of crop genetic diversity Conservation of crop diversity “ex-situ” in gene banks

19 Cary Fowler/Global Crop Diversity Trust (both on left); National and international germplasm banks preserve crop diversity “ex-situ” USDA National facility in Fort Collins, Colorado

20 Global Crop Diversity Trust Ultimate backup “ex-situ” facility in the arctic: Svalbard Global Seed Vault

21 Conservation of crop diversity “in-situ” = on farm

22 Ex-situ conservation Advantage: accessible for plant breeders for future plant improvement evaluation of traits (morphological, molecular, agronomic, nutritional, etc.) changing values means that “worthless” ones may turn out to be valuable (high lysine corn, resistance to new pests)

23 Pitfalls of ex-situ conservation –lose variability due to genetic drift as only a small portion is grown out –selection for ability to retain viability in storage –grow-out conditions unlike those of traditional farmers on marginal lands (not evolving in response to natural environmental conditions) –mistakes, human error leads to losses –budgetary constraints, political instability (Threats to Pavlovsk germplasm in Russia, unrest or war, e.g., Aleppo germplasm bank in Syria.) Ex-situ conservation

24 In-situ conservation Now widely seen as an important complement to ex-situ conservation. –allows continued evolution in response to changing environments (new pathogens, pests, stresses) –keep crops in their “cultural-ecological context” the human-modified systems in which they evolved –ecological complexity of traditional agriculture, use of micro-habitats –accessible to traditional farmers (although less accessible to plant breeders) ***Please see handouts and other readings for more nuanced discussion.

25 Grassroots seed saving efforts Contribute to grassroots seed-saving organizations

26 Try it yourself Learn to save seed of your own vegetables (some are easy). Photo courtesy Linda Black Elk Photo source: Paul Gepts, UC Davis


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