568. International Day of the Tropics: Initiatives to Utilize Genetic Resources and the Island Environment of TARF
June 29th is designated by the United Nations as the “International Day of the Tropics” to celebrate the extraordinary diversity and highlight the challenges of the tropics. The tropical regions account for 40% of the world's total surface area, approximately 80% of the world's biodiversity, and the majority of the world's diverse languages and cultures. The tropics have experienced significant economic development in recent years, but with the accompanying population growth and urbanization, coupled with climate change, the region faces challenges such as the degradation of the natural environment and ecosystems and a rapid decline in biodiversity. The rich natural environment and diverse biological resources of tropical regions need to be protected as common assets of the Earth.
Vegetables and fruits are beneficial to the health of people and the planet. However, they also face challenges such as food loss, food miles, and climate change. This issue features an editorial from Nature Food.
563. Discovered Rice Gene Region Associated with Low Soil Fertility Tolerance in Small Farm Conditions in Madagascar
Rice is Madagascar's staple food, and the per capita rice consumption is among the highest in the world. In Madagascar, rice is mainly cultivated by smallholders in low fertility soils with no external inputs such as mineral fertilizers. As a result, rice productivity remains low and the gap between rice production and consumption is widening at the national level. We have evaluated genetic resources from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) genebank, and identified loci associated with low soil fertility tolerance for total panicle weight per plant, straw weight, total plant biomass, heading date and plant height. A donor carrying total panicle weight loci was identified and crossed to a local variety, to initiate variety development through a combination of marker-assisted selection with selection on-farm to improve rice yield under local cultivation conditions.
Asian soybean rust (ASR) has a serious impact on soybean production in South America, which is a major soybean producing area, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. To combat the soybean rust disease, JIRCAS in collaboration with Nikkei-CETAPAR in Paraguay, has developed and released new ASR-resistant soybean cultivars JFNC 1 and JFNC 2. In this study, the extent to which these new cultivars have improved ASR resistance and yield compared to the original parental cultivars was investigated. The results showed that the yield potential of JFNC 1 and JFNC 2 was 1.7 and 1.4 times higher, respectively, than the parental cultivars when no fungicides were used in ARS occurring fields. Since production costs and environmental impact are increasing locally due to fungicide-resistant ASR pathogen, it is expected that the introduction of these new cultivars will be effective in combating soybean rust disease.
558. FAO Food Outlook - Spillover Effects on Production and Prices of Fuel, Fertilizer and Other Commodities
557. Development of Enzyme-Free Microbial Saccharification Technology to Efficiently and Inexpensively Obtain Glucose from Biomass for the Production of Biofuels and Biochemicals
A joint research group of JIRCAS and King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) has been developing a saccharification technology to efficiently and inexpensively obtain glucose, which is necessary for the production of biofuels and biochemicals, from cellulose-based biomass, including stems, leaves, peels, and lees from harvesting and processing agricultural crops, and food residues, fiber and paper waste from everyday life. The newly developed “microbial saccharification” is a revolutionary technology that converts cellulose to glucose using only microbial culture, without the need for any enzyme addition, and is expected to be applied to materials such as waste cotton fiber that have not been recycled before, since it is expected to reduce costs.
556. Genomic Prediction of Zinc Biofortification Potential in 3000 Gene Bank Accessions to Increase Grain Zinc Concentrations in Rice
The approach of increasing zinc (Zn) concentrations in edible parts of food crops (Zn-biofortification) is a global breeding goal to alleviate Zn malnutrition, which particularly affects small children that need it for proper development. Because the Zn concentration in polished rice is usually too low to provide a sufficient proportion of the daily Zn intake, Zn deficiency is widespread in households where rice is the staple food and where people cannot afford to diversify their diet by adding mineral-rich fruits, vegetables, and meat. We used a genomic prediction model to predict Zn concentrations in 3000 genetic resources and selected potential high-Zn donors for experimental validation and subsequent biofortification breeding in Madagascar.
June 8 is World Oceans Day. It was established to create an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges facing the international community regarding the oceans. Also, 2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. In today's Pick Up, we introduce two examples of international joint research related to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in the field of fisheries featured in the JIRCAS Research Highlights.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its World Food Price Index on June 3. After reaching an all-time high in March 2022, the food price index declined for two consecutive months in April and May, but remained 29.2 percentage points (22.8%) higher than the same period last year. This drop reflects declines in vegetable oil and dairy price indeces, while grain and meat price indeces rose on June 3, which also marked the 100th day since the start of the war in Ukraine. UN agencies reported that they are committed to negotiations with Russia and other countries concerned to avert a food security crisis in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine