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 Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>