Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Genetic diversity

Photo: Michael Knowles, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

This report provides an update on the fields of synthetic biology and the latest breeding techniques involving molecular biology. It sees modern techniques of creating new cultivars as a continuation of selective breeding which was started by humans around 10,000 years ago.

(Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, Flickr creative commons licence 2.0)(Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, Flickr creative commons licence 2.0)
7 July 2016

As the climate changes, and food demand increases, crop varieties suited to these conditions need to be developed. The authors of this paper warn that crops yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. They propose three ways to improve matching of maize varieties in Africa to a warmed climate: reduce the BDA (the process of breeding, delivery and adoption), breed under elevated temperatures and act to mitigate climate change.

16 February 2016

The second SoW-AnGR by the FAO reviews the developments that have been made in the area of using, developing and safeguarding the genetic resources (i.e. the diversity of breeds) of our mammalian and avian livestock since the first SoW-AnGR report was released in 2007.

17 December 2015

A new form of antibiotic resistance was recently identified and the results of the ongoing research project have been published in The Lancet Infectious Disease.  The Lancet published the paper as part of their series on antimicrobial access and resistance to coincide with the WHO’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week for Nov 16–22, 2015.

19 April 2015

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that the Australian beef industry has reduced its environmental footprint over the past 30 years. The results are presented in a new paper in Agricultural Systems, and in a press-release MLA writes that:

19 April 2015

This paper argues that high-performance computing and genetic engineering that boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a growing world population by 2050. It points out that we now have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and we can thus determine where the bottlenecks are. Advances in genetic engineering enable us to augment or circumvent steps that impede efficiency.

18 February 2015

As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders - workers of less than three to seven acres - with the rest in gene banks.

23 October 2014

In this article, part of National Geographic’s’ The Future of Food series, Tim Folger talks about the potential of biotechnology in the next 'green revolution', and its implications for subsistence farmers worldwide. While acknowledging the anxieties against genetically modified crops, he argues that their value in combating common plant diseases is significant for preventing large-scale agricultural losses.

23 October 2014

Crop, food, and feed composition studies are considered an essential part of the safety assessment of new crop varieties, including those developed through biotechnology. Information obtained from such studies is used to assess similarities and differences in important nutrients and anti-nutrients. This database created by International Life Sciences Institute, was generated from crop composition data obtained from studies conducted over a number of years at multiple worldwide locations.

6 February 2014

The European Commission released an announcement before Christmas 2013 on new proposals for regulation of animal cloning in the food chain. The proposal argues that farm-animal cloning should be banned in the European Union, along with imports of cloned livestock and the sale of food from such animals. In a report commenting on the new regulation the consultancy ICF GHK argues that in principle the EU could however still produce offspring of clones by importing reproductive material from clones from EU trading regions, and by importing live animals or food products derived from such animals.

2 July 2013

The book summary says the following: Farmers' Rights are essential for maintaining crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agricultural production in the world. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes Farmers' Rights and provides for relevant measures. However, implementation is slow, and in many countries there is resistance. This book shows the necessity of realizing Farmers' Rights for poverty alleviation and food security, the practical possibilities of doing so, and the potential gains for development and society at large.