Appropriate Technology | Year: 2013
Around a third of the population of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is anaemic, with low iron intake linked to high rates of maternal mortality, and low zinc associated with stunting in children. The new 'biofortified' beans have been bred by researchers in DRC, neighboring Rwanda, and CIAT in Colombia to contain up to double the iron and 70 per cent more zinc than regular beans, using the same methods of crop selection that farmers have been using for thousands of years. HarvestPlus and its partners test and evaluate the beans before they are released. The beans are then grown in sufficient quantities to supply to farmers - a process known as seed multiplication. At a gorilla bean multiplication site in Kashusha, around 100 hired hands work in teams, laying big piles of just-picked pods on tarpaulin sheets and bashing them with poles to release the beans.
Tissot J.,CNRS Mechanical Energy, Theories, and Applications Laboratory |
Tissot J.,IRSTEA |
Boulet P.,CNRS Mechanical Energy, Theories, and Applications Laboratory |
Trinquet F.,IRSTEA |
And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2014
An experimental and numerical study has been carried out on the improvement of the energy performance of a refrigerating machine using a water spray upstream of the condenser. The experimental setup is based on a reversible heat pump used in cooling mode. The spray has been simply added upstream from the heat pump in order to investigate the possible performance improvements on a real machine, leaving its own control system free to adapt itself. Condensation temperature and pressure data have been measured on the refrigerating fluid side, while temperature and humidity have been measured on the air upstream and downstream the condenser. A complete model has been developed, combining a thermodynamic model for the system and heat transfer models on the air and refrigerating fluid sides. Comparisons have been carried out. Results show that water spraying upstream of the condenser may increase the global COP of the system (refrigerating machine plus spraying system) up to 28.9% for relatively hot and dry air conditions (relative humidity 19,7% and temperature 308 K). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.
Creamer G.G.,Stevens Institute of Technology |
AAAI Fall Symposium - Technical Report | Year: 2014
This paper proposes the use of the Brownian distance correlation to conduct a lead-lag analysis of financial and economic time series. When this methodology is applied to asset prices, the non-linear relationships identified may improve the price discovery process of these assets. The Brownian distance correlation determines relationships similar to those identified by the linear Granger causality test, and it also uncovers additional non-linear relationships among the log prices of oil, coal, and natural gas. Copyright © 2014, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). All rights reserved.
Blair M.W.,Cornell University |
Diaz L.M.,CIAT |
Acosta-Gallegos J.A.,Inifap Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Forestales
Crop Science | Year: 2013
Mexico is a large bean-producing country, the second most important in the Western Hemisphere, and the center of origin for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) as well as many wild relatives or cultigens. Given this long tradition with the crop, Mexican farmers have created a rich resource of native landraces over many millennia, and this germplasm is of value today for modern breeding and gene discovery. The objective of this research was to evaluate the core collection of the national Mexican germplasm repository (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias [INIFAP]) and to determine the diversity and population structure within the germplasm set based on fluorescent microsatellite marker genotyping. The results showed a good separation of races Durango, Jalisco, and Mesoamerica, which were the majority of the landraces, versus a small group of Andean landraces that were all well supported both by population structure analysis and coherent results with principal component analysis and a molecular analysis of variance. Genepool separation has been observed in many previous studies of diversity in common bean but this study was among the first with microsatellites to find separation of the Durango and Jalisco races. The utility of the INIFAP core collection for association mapping studies of traits important to Mexican agriculture is discussed. © Crop Science Society of America.
These so-called crop wild relatives (CWR)—distant cousins of well-known food crops like rice, potato maize and wheat—are widely recognized as one of the most important resources available to plant breeders in the fight against climate change. But many have not been collected and conserved in genebanks, meaning breeders are unable to use them. In addition, many of their habitats are under threat from urbanization, pollution, deforestation, climate change and war. CWR possess valuable genetic diversity that can be used to develop crops capable of adapting and thriving under the impacts of climate change, including higher temperatures, increased soil salinity due to rising sea levels, and more frequent and severe pest and disease outbreaks. Research carried out as part of the Project "Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives", which is funded by the Government of Norway, mapped 1,076 CWR of the world's 81 most important crops. It revealed significant gaps in the world's genebanks, both in terms of species and regions. The research published today in the journal Nature Plants compared predicted CWR distributions with records from the world's genebanks to produce what is believed to be the most comprehensive list of gaps in collections of crop wild relatives to date. Nora Castañeda-Álvarez, from the University of Birmingham, a scientist at CIAT and author of the study, says that the paper "establishes a baseline for how well we are protecting crop wild relatives worldwide." "There are big gaps for many crops and in many regions". She added "it's now clear that scientists around the world are in a race against time to collect and conserve many of the most important plant species for future food security." The authors found that the wild relatives of important food security crops like banana and plantain, cassava, sorghum and sweetpotato are all in urgent need of collection and conservation, along with those of pineapple, carrot, spinach, and many other fruits and vegetables. Even for the wild relatives of vital staples like rice, wheat, potato, and maize—which tend to be better represented in genebanks—there are still significant gaps in the collections. In addition, they flagged the fact that some of the CWR marked as high priorities for collection and conservation are under threat, from war and civil strife in places like Syria and Afghanistan and from changes in land use, such as deforestation, in southeast Asia. "The overall level of exposure to risk is really troubling," says Colin Khoury, co-author and also a scientist at CIAT. "The world's food supply is in a precarious position of depending on too few crop plant species. For every CWR that's not conserved in a genebank and available for research, it means there is one less option for plant breeders to improve the resilience of the food crops we rely on so much." "Our findings give us the clearest idea yet of which plants are missing and where in the world we need to search for them," he added. Ruth Eastwood, Crop Wild Relatives Project coordinator at Kew, agrees. "Although a lot of experts have known about gaps for individual crops, this is the first time we've had a comprehensive global overview that is widely available." "CWR have provided valuable genetic material in the past and the United Nations have formally recognized the importance of these species in article 2.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a call to maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, including crop wild relatives, in genebanks by 2020." says Hannes Dempewolf, the manager of this project. The study also revealed some areas where CWR are relatively well collected, for instance for wheat, chickpea, tomato, soybean, and rice. These samples have already proved valuable in past plant breeding efforts. For instance, genes from a wild rice species Oryza nivara were instrumental in helping to develop rice varieties resistant to the grassy stunt virus, a disease that caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Asian farmers in the 1970s, while a single wild tomato species provided genes boosting solids content by 2.4%, estimated to be worth about US$250 million a year to the global tomato industry. With financial support from the Government of Norway, the Crop Trust and RBG Kew are managing to fill the gaps and secure the future of the world's food supply. The analysis that resulted in the new map is part of this joint effort and fed into a prioritization of where new collecting efforts would be most effective. So far, agreements with partners in 15 countries are in place, and the Project is providing support and help to those partners to collect these CWR, conserve them in genebanks and make them available for research and breeding. The Crop Trust hopes that this work will encourage additional countries to become more willing to share their plant collections. According to Luigi Guarino, Director of Science and Programs at the Crop Trust, the analysis and map may also prove useful for discussions of genetic resources policy. "A country may be surprized to be a high priority for collection as it already has samples in its national genebank. Due to this study it could realise that these collections are not widely known and it can take steps to change this. What good is it if you have it, but it's not available and nobody knows it is there?" Explore further: US a surprisingly large reservoir of crop plant diversity