David Ellis was once asked how to prepare for a career as a genebank scientist. “There’s no fricking way,” he responded. “You not only have to be well grounded in science but you also need to know how to manage budgets and people and how to essentially run a business.”
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas, Lam.) is an important root vegetable in developing countries. After its domestication
in Neotropical America, human migration led to the distribution of the sweet potato plant throughout the world. Both
leaf and storage root are high in compounds of nutritional value.
When Fanny Vargas looks at an herbarium specimen, she sees more than a plant captured in time, she sees its entire story clinging to it like fine pollen. She can imagine the gasp inducing altitudes where they were collected, the rocky crevices the stubborn plants grew in, the arduous often death-defying trips collectors would take to preserve for prosperity the knowledge embedded in the plant’s morphology and DNA.
Global agriculture faces unprecedented challenges.
There is no single solution to tackling them, but the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recognise that it is critical to conserve the diversity of the plants and animals we farm.
Seven scientists will receive inaugural Legacy Award for dedicating their careers to crop conservation.
More than 30 representatives of Peruvian government institutions and nongovernmental organizations recently gathered at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru to learn about a new global system created by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) to make information about crop biodiversity more accessible and help governments keep track of their nation’s plant genetic resources.
For more than 50 years Alberto Salas has scoured the world in search of potato crop wild realtives.