Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fields need a diversity of indigenous cereal crops

19.07.2004


The history of cultivated plants in Finland stretches back some 3,500 years. Cultivated plants usually arrived in Finland from elsewhere with new settlers. Landraces were still widespread in the early part of the 20th century, but then improved varieties produced in plant breeding programmes began to gain ground in the 1920s. As a consequence, the landraces, which were well adapted to local conditions, are no longer grown to any large extent, and thus they no longer contribute to the diversity of our grain fields. The characteristics of the landraces are little known and they are in limited use in agriculture today.



It is essential for food safety now and in coming generations that we can safeguard the gene pool. Because we cannot know what we may need in the future, it is important to maintain the widest possible selection of genetic material for the use of farmers, researchers, plant breeders and other users. Landraces of both plants and animals are a part of our invaluable heritage and the history of our nation. The most common way of preserving genetic materials is to deposit seeds in gene banks. Apart from that, the most natural preservation method would be to cultivate plants in their original environment. Subsidies are available for the preservation of landraces and old commercial varieties of cereals.

Making the most of the gene bank


Finnish seed collections of national value are chiefly stored at the Nordic Gene Bank (NGB) in Alnarp in Southern Sweden. The gene bank is in its 25th year of operations this year. At the beginning of the year, Bent Skovmand took over as director, transferring from CIMMYT, Mexico. Skovmand is at present taking part in the International Oat Conference in Helsinki on July 18-22, where he is advocating more efficient use of the collections stored in gene banks.

There are about 1,600 deep-frozen Finnish seed samples at NGB, of which 92 are oats. Most of them are varieties and breeder’s lines. There are 14 landraces. The earliest Finnish oat varieties are Ilola (1903), Sapeli, Kerttu (1919), Pohjola (1919), Tuotto (1920), Veikko (1920), Nopsa (1921), Jalostettu maatiaiskaura (1921), Osmo (1921), Kytö (1925) and Pelsonkaura (1925). Of the above, only Jalostettu maatiaiskaura, Kytö, Osmo and Pelso are stored in the NGB collections. The most valuable feature of the landrace oats was their short growth season, while their biggest disadvantages were weak stems and low yield. They may, however, possess other valuable features which could be utilized.

At present, the collections of the gene bank are not used much. The gene bank can be contacted with inquiries concerning old Finnish landraces or commercial varieties, of which the gene bank can supply a seed sample (www.ngb.se). It is also possible to send seeds to the gene bank. If anyone still has old Finnish landraces or commercial varieties, they can contact MTT (Agrifood Research Finland) or the gene bank direct. MTT is in charge of coordinating Finland’s national plant genetic resources programme for agriculture and forestry, which started in 2003, and also implements the programme where agricultural and horticultural plants are concerned.

Mia Sahramaa | alfa
Further information:
http://www.mitt.fi
http://www.ioc2004.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Light green plants save nitrogen without sacrificing photosynthetic efficiency
21.11.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>