Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Recent publications
The adzuki bean (Vigna angularis), known for its rich nutritional composition, holds significant promise in addressing food and nutritional security, particularly for low socioeconomic classes and the predominantly vegetarian and vegan populations worldwide. In this study, we assessed a total of 100 diverse adzuki bean accessions, analyzing essential nutritional compounds using AOAC's official analysis procedures and other widely accepted standard techniques. Our analysis of variance revealed significant genotype variations for all the traits studied. The variability range among different traits was as follows: moisture: 7.5-13.3 g/100 g, ash: 1.8-4.2 g/100 g, protein: 18.0-23.9 g/100 g, starch: 31.0-43.9 g/100 g, total soluble sugar: 3.0-8.2 g/100 g, phytic acid: 0.65-1.43 g/100 g, phenol: 0.01-0.59 g/100 g, antioxidant: 11.4-19.7 mg/100 g GAE. Noteworthy accessions included IC341955 and EC15256, exhibiting very high protein content, while IC341957 and IC341955 showed increased antioxidant activity. To understand intertrait relationships, we computed correlation coefficients between the traits. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed that the first four principal components contributed to 63.6% of the variation. Further, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) identified nutri-dense accessions, such as IC360533, characterized by high ash (>4.2 g/100 g) and protein (>23.4 g/100 g) content and low phytic acid (0.652 g/100 g). These promising compositions provide practical support for the development of high-value food and feed varieties using effective breeding strategies, ultimately contributing to improved global food security.
Citation: Kumari, M.; Padhi, S.R.; Chourey, S.K.; Kondal, V.; Thakare, S.S.; Negi, A.; Gupta, V.; Arya, M.; Yasin, J.K.; Singh, R.; et al. Unveiling Diversity for Quality Traits in the Indian Landraces of Horsegram [Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.]. Plants 2023, 12, 3803. Abstract: Horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum [Lam.] Verdc.) is an underutilized pulse crop primarily cultivated in South Asian countries like India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It offers various nutraceutical properties and demonstrates remarkable resilience to both biotic and abiotic stresses. As a result, it has emerged as a promising crop for ensuring future food and nutritional security. The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional profile of 139 horsegram germplasm lines obtained from 16 Indian states that were conserved at the National Gene Bank of India. Standard analytical methods, including those provided by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), were used for this investigation. The study revealed substantial variability in essential nutrients, such as protein (ranging from 21.8 to 26.7 g/100 g), starch (ranging from 26.2 to 33.0 g/100 g), total soluble sugars (TSSs) (ranging from 0.86 to 12.1 g/100 g), phenolics (ranging from 3.38 to 11.3 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAEs)/g), and phytic acid content (ranging from 1.07 to 21.2 mg/g). Noteworthy correlations were observed, including a strong positive correlation between sugars and phenols (r = 0.70) and a moderate negative correlation between protein and starch (r = −0.61) among the studied germplasm lines. Principal component analysis (PCA) highlighted that the first three principal components contributed to 88.32% of the total variability, with TSSs, phytates, and phenols emerging as the most significant contributors. The cluster analysis grouped the accessions into five clusters, with cluster III containing the accessions with the most desirable traits. The differential distribution of the accessions from north India into clusters I and III suggested a potential geographical influence on the adaptation and selection of genes. This study identified a panel of promising accessions exhibiting multiple desirable traits. These specific accessions could significantly aid quality breeding programs or be directly released as cultivars if they perform well agronomically.
Simple Summary Screening for polymorphisms in the promoter region of a functional gene is an effective way to identify useful markers for improving sheep growth and development. Non-SMC condensin I complex subunit G (NCAPG) is a candidate gene linked with sheep growth and development. Its explicit role in muscle development is still unclear, and markers in NCAPG’s promoter region have not been explored yet. The goal of this study was to investigate the direct role of NCAPG in regulating myogenic development and the differentiation of myoblasts and explore potential markers in its promoter region in relation to sheep growth and development traits. To achieve this goal, cell proliferation and differentiation after RNA interference with NCAPG were investigated in embryonic myoblasts. In addition, the genetic markers in the promoter region of NCAPG were scanned, and association analysis between the markers and sheep growth and development traits was carried out. The results suggest that interfering with NCAPG inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts. Five variants detected in the promoter region of NCAPG were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with sheep growth and development traits. These results provide direct evidence of NCAPG regulating myogenesis and provide useful genetic markers to increase the efficacy of the selection of sheep growth and development traits. Abstract Previously, NCAPG was identified as a candidate gene associated with sheep growth traits. This study aimed to investigate the direct role of NCAPG in regulating myogenesis in embryonic myoblast cells and to investigate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in its promoter region and sheep growth traits. The function of NCAPG in myoblast proliferation and differentiation was detected after small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) knocked down the expression of NCAPG. Cell proliferation was detected using CCK-8 assay, EdU proliferation assay, and flow cytometry cell cycle analysis. Cell differentiation was detected via cell immunofluorescence and the quantification of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs). SNPs in the promoter region were detected using Sanger sequencing and genotyped using the improved multiplex ligation detection reaction (iMLDR®) technique. As a result, a notable decrease (p < 0.01) in the percentage of EdU-positive cells in the siRNA-694-treated group was observed. A significant decrease (p < 0.01) in cell viability after treatment with siRNA-694 for 48 h and 72 h was detected using the CCK-8 method. The quantity of S-phase cells in the siRNA-694 treatment group was significantly decreased (p < 0.01). After interfering with NCAPG in myoblasts during induced differentiation, the relative expression levels of MRFs were markedly (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) reduced compared with the control group on days 5–7. The myoblast differentiation in the siRNA-694 treatment group was obviously suppressed compared with the control group. SNP1, SNP2, SNP3, and SNP4 were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with all traits except body weight measured at birth and one month of age. SNP5 was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with body weight, body height, and body length in six-month-old sheep. In conclusion, interfering with NCAPG can inhibit the proliferation and differentiation of ovine embryonic myoblasts. SNPs in its promoter region can serve as potential useful markers for selecting sheep growth traits.
The cassava whitefly Bemisia tabaci causes damage in cassava through the feeding and vectoring of plant viruses that cause cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases. This study sought to explore the efficacy of cutting dipping in flupyradifurone for whitefly control and the impact of the mode of application on whitefly parasitism under farmer field conditions. The insecticide treatment significantly reduced adult whiteflies by 41%, nymphs by 64%, and cassava mosaic disease (CMD) incidence by 16% and increased root yield by 49%. The whitefly parasitism rate by Encarsia spp. parasitoids was 27.3 and 21.1%, while Eretmocerus spp. had 26.7 and 18.0% in control and flupyradifurone, respectively, and these differences were not significant. Electropenetrography recordings of whitefly feeding behaviour on flupyradifurone-treated plants showed significantly reduced probing activity and a delay in reaching the phloem as compared to the control. The findings from this study demonstrated that cassava cutting dipping in flupyradifurone significantly reduces whitefly numbers and cassava mosaic disease incidence, thus contributing to a significant root yield increase in cassava. Flupyradifurone applied through cutting dips does not significantly impact parasitism rates in cassava fields. Routine monitoring of parasitoids and predators in insecticide treated versus control fields should be emphasized to determine the impact of pesticides on these beneficial non-target organisms.
Micronutrient deficiencies, particularly of iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), in the diet contribute to health issues and hidden hunger. Enhancing the Fe and Zn content in globally staple food crops like rice is necessary to address food malnutrition. A Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) was conducted using 85 diverse rice accessions from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to identify genomic regions associated with grain Fe and Zn content. The Fe content ranged from 0.95 to 8.68 mg/100 g on a dry weight basis (dwb) while Zn content ranged from 0.87 to 3.8 mg/100 g (dwb). Using MLM and FarmCPU models, we found 10 significant SNPs out of which one SNP on chromosome 11 was associated with a variation in Fe content and one SNP on chromosome 4 was associated with the Zn content, and both were commonly detected by the two models. Candidate genes belonging to transcription regulator activities, including the bZIP family genes and MYB family genes, as well as transporter activities involved in Fe and Zn homeostasis were identified in the vicinity of the SNP markers and selected. The identified SNP markers hold promise for marker-assisted selection in rice breeding programs aimed at enhancing Fe and Zn content in rice. This study provides valuable insights into the genetic factors controlling Fe and Zn uptake and their transport and accumulation in rice, offering opportunities for developing biofortified rice varieties to combat malnutrition among rice consumers.
Many common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants cultivated in areas of the world with acidic soils exhibit difficulties adapting to low phosphorus (P) availability, along with aluminum (Al) toxicity, causing yield loss. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of an increase in P supply level on the agronomic, phenological, and physiological performance of two common bean breeding lines grown in acidic soil, with low fertility and under high temperature conditions, in a screenhouse. A randomized complete block (RCB) design was used under a factorial arrangement (five levels of P × 2 genotypes) for a total of 10 treatments with four replications. The factors considered in the experiment were: (i) five P supply levels (kg ha−1): four levels of P0, P15, P30, and P45 through the application of rock phosphate (RP), and one P level supplied through the application of organic matter (PSOM) corresponding to 25 kg P ha−1 (P25); and (ii) two advanced bean lines (BFS 10 and SEF10). Both bean lines were grown under the combined stress conditions of high temperatures (day and night maximum temperatures of 42.5 °C/31.1 °C, respectively) and acidic soil. By increasing the supply of P, a significant effect was found, indicating an increase in the growth and development of different vegetative organs, as well as physiological efficiency in photosynthesis and photosynthate remobilization, which resulted in higher grain yield in both bean lines evaluated (BFS 10 and SEF10). The adaptive responses of the two bean lines were found to be related to phenological adjustments (days to flowering and physiological maturity; stomatal development), as well as to heat dissipation strategies in the form of heat (NPQ) or unregulated energy (qN) that contributed to greater agronomic performance. We found that, to some extent, increased P supply alleviated the negative effects of high temperature on the growth and development of the reproductive organs of bean lines. Both bean lines (BFS 10 and SEF 10) showed adaptive attributes suited to the combined stress conditions of high temperature and acidic soil, and these two lines can serve as useful parents in a bean breeding program to develop multiple stress tolerant cultivars.
Genomic selection (GS) plays a pivotal role in hybrid prediction. It can enhance the selection of parental lines, accurately predict hybrid performance, and harness hybrid vigor. Likewise, it can optimize breeding strategies by reducing field trial requirements, expediting hybrid development, facilitating targeted trait improvement, and enhancing adaptability to diverse environments. Leveraging genomic information empowers breeders to make informed decisions and significantly improve the efficiency and success rate of hybrid breeding programs. In order to improve the genomic ability performance, we explored the incorporation of parental phenotypic information as covariates under a multi-trait framework. Approach 1, referred to as Pmean, directly utilized parental phenotypic information without any preprocessing. While approach 2, denoted as BV, replaced the direct use of phenotypic values of both parents with their respective breeding values. While an improvement in prediction performance was observed in both approaches, with a minimum 4.24% reduction in the normalized root mean square error (NRMSE), the direct incorporation of parental phenotypic information in the Pmean approach slightly outperformed the BV approach. We also compared these two approaches using linear and nonlinear kernels, but no relevant gain was observed. Finally, our results increase empirical evidence confirming that the integration of parental phenotypic information helps increase the prediction performance of hybrids.
Integrated aquaculture–agriculture (IAA) is a form of crop diversification where aquatic and terrestrial foods are grown together on a single parcel of land. We compare economic and nutrient productivity per hectare for 12 distinct IAA combinations, identified from a representative survey of 721 farms in southern Bangladesh. Just under half of households integrate agriculture into their aquaculture production. Regression analyses show positive associations between the integration of terrestrial foods into aquatic farming systems and nutrient productivity, but that nutrient productivity is partly disconnected from economic productivity. However, we find that production of specific combinations of aquatic foods and vegetables can simultaneously improve nutrient productivity and economic productivity, thereby promoting nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA). The approach demonstrated here can be applied to the design of NSA programmes that are important for realizing nutrition-sensitive food systems.
Accurate dry matter determination (DM) in Hass avocados is vital for optimal harvesting and ensuring fruit quality. Predictive models based on NIRS need to capture fruit DM gradient. This work aimed to determine the DM content in Hass avocado whole by NIRS scanning different fruit zones. Spectra were recorded for each zone of the fruit: peduncle (P), equator (E), and base (B). The calibration and validation included fruit from different orchards in two harvest cycles. The results show a DM gradient within the fruit: 24.47% (E), 24.68% (B), and 24.79% (P). The DM gradient was observed within the spectra using the RMSi (root mean square) criterion and PCA. The results show that at least one spectrum per fruit zone was needed to represent the variability within the fruit. The performances of the calibration using the whole set of data were R2: 0.74 and standard error of cross-validation (SECV) = 1.18%. In the validation stage using independent validation sets, the models showed similar performance (R2: 0.75, SECV 1.15%) with low values of the standard error of prediction (SEP): 1.62%. These results demonstrate the potential of near-infrared spectroscopy for high-throughput sorting of avocados based on their commercial quality.
Citation: Wodebo, K.Y.; Tolemariam, T.; Demeke, S.; Garedew, W.; Tesfaye, T.; Zeleke, M.; Gemiyu, D.; Bedeke, W.; Wamatu, J.; Sharma, M. AMMI and GGE Biplot Analyses for Mega-Environment Identification and Selection of Some High-Yielding Oat (Avena sativa L.) Genotypes for Multiple Environments. Plants 2023, 12, 3064. https://doi. Abstract: This paper reports an evaluation of eleven oat genotypes in four environments for two consecutive years to identify high-biomass-yielding, stable, and broadly adapted genotypes in selected parts of Ethiopia. Genotypes were planted and evaluated with a randomized complete block design, which was repeated three times. The additive main effect and multiplicative interaction analysis of variances revealed that the environment, genotype, and genotype-environment interaction had a significant (p ≤ 0.001) influence on the biomass yield in the dry matter base (t ha −1). The interaction of the first and second principal component analysis accounted for 73.43% and 14.97% of the genotype according to the environment interaction sum of squares, respectively. G6 and G5 were the most stable and widely adapted genotypes and were selected as superior genotypes. The genotype-by-environment interaction showed a 49.46% contribution to the total treatment of sum-of-squares variation, while genotype and environment effects explained 34.94% and 15.60%, respectively. The highest mean yield was obtained from G6 (12.52 kg/ha), and the lowest mean yield was obtained from G7 (8.65 kg/ha). According to the additive main effect and multiplicative interaction biplot, G6 and G5 were high-yielding genotypes, whereas G7 was a low-yielding genotype. Furthermore, according to the genotype and genotype-environment interaction biplot, G6 was the winning genotype in all environments. However, G7 was a low-yielding genotype in all environments. Finally, G6 was an ideal genotype with a higher mean yield and relatively good stability. However, G7 was a poor-yielding and unstable genotype. The genotype, environment, and genotype x environment interaction had extremely important effects on the biomass yield of oats. The findings of the graphic stability methods (additive main effect and multiplicative interaction and the genotype and genotype-environment interaction) for identifying high-yielding and stable oat genotypes were very similar.
Plant breeders develop competitive, high-yielding, resistant crop varieties that can cope with the challenges of biotic stresses and tolerate abiotic stresses, resulting in nutritious food for consumers worldwide. To achieve this, plant breeders need continuous and easy access to plant genetic resources (PGR) for trait screening, to generate new diversity that can be built into newly improved varieties. International agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Nagoya Protocol recognised the sovereign rights of countries over their genetic resources. Under the CBD/Nagoya Protocol, countries are free to establish specific national legislations regulating germplasm access and benefit-sharing to be negotiated bilaterally. Consequently, access to PGR became increasingly restricted and cumbersome, resulting in a decrease in germplasm exchange. The ITPGRFA attempted to ease this situation by establishing a globally harmonised multilateral system (MLS). Unfortunately, the MLS is (still) restricted to a limited number of food and forage crops, with very few vegetable crops. Easy and continuous access to genetic diversity combined with equitable and fair sharing of derived benefits is a prerequisite to breeding new varieties. Facilitated access contributes to sustainable crop production and food and nutrition security; therefore, access to and, consequently, use of PGRFA needs to be improved. Thus, the authors recommend, among others, expanding the scope of the ITPGRFA to include all PGRFA and making them and all related information accessible under a Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) combined, if necessary, with a subscription system or a seed sales tax. Such a transparent, functional and efficient system would erase legal uncertainties and minimise transaction costs for conservers, curators and users of genetic resources, thus aiding plant breeders to fulfil their mission.
Sequencing technologies have rapidly evolved over the past two decades, and new technologies are being continually developed and commercialized. The emerging sequencing technologies target generating more data with fewer inputs and at lower costs. This has also translated to an increase in the number and type of corresponding applications in genomics besides enhanced computational capacities (both hardware and software). Alongside the evolving DNA sequencing landscape, bioinformatics research teams have also evolved to accommodate the increasingly demanding techniques used to combine and interpret data, leading to many researchers moving from the lab to the computer. The rich history of DNA sequencing has paved the way for new insights and the development of new analysis methods. Understanding and learning from past technologies can help with the progress of future applications. This review focuses on the evolution of sequencing technologies, their significant enabling role in generating plant genome assemblies and downstream applications, and the parallel development of bioinformatics tools and skills, filling the gap in data analysis techniques.
Introduction This qualitative study evaluates a nutrition and hygiene education program led by trained community nutrition scholars for 5,000 mothers of small children in the Khulna and Satkhira districts in southern Bangladesh. The objectives of this study are as follows: (1) understanding the processes and reasonings behind mothers' improvement in child feeding, food preparation, hygiene, and homestead garden production, (2) understanding men's roles in facilitating women's behavioral changes, and (3) assessing the degree of changes in subjective notions of self-confidence, decision-making, and recognition among mothers and nutrition scholars. Methods Data were collected through 14 focus group discussions with 80 participants and in-depth interviews with 6 women community nutrition scholars. Data was then analysed qualitatively by drawing on direct quotes from focus group discussions and interviews with detailed interpretation and account for respondents' behaviors and perceptions. Results Overall findings confirm behavior changes by women, their spouses, and other family members. Many women were able to independently decide to change food allocation and child feeding practices after gaining self-confidence through the training. Men performed vital roles, such as purchasing nutritious food in local markets, providing labor for land preparation of homestead gardens, and defending the women from the resistance to change by their mothers-in-law. Discussion While the study supports the literature that women's bargaining power in food/resource allocation is critical in child health and nutrition, the evaluation found that this process involves negotiations among family members. Engaging men and mothers-in-law in nutrition interventions have great potential to make nutrition interventions more effective.
Citation: Lopez, L.A.; Ochieng, J.; Pacheco, M.; Martinez, L.; Omar, H.A.; Gowda, M.; Prasanna, B.M.; Dhugga, K.S.; Chaikam, V. Effectiveness of R1-nj Anthocyanin Marker in the Identification of In Vivo Induced Maize Haploid Embryos. Plants 2023, 12, 2314. Abstract: Doubled haploid (DH) technology has become integral to maize breeding programs to expedite inbred line development and increase the efficiency of breeding operations. Unlike many other plant species that use in vitro methods, DH production in maize uses a relatively simple and efficient in vivo haploid induction method. However, it takes two complete crop cycles for DH line generation, one for haploid induction and the other one for chromosome doubling and seed production. Rescuing in vivo induced haploid embryos has the potential to reduce the time for DH line development and improve the efficiency of DH line production. However, the identification of a few haploid embryos (~10%) resulting from an induction cross from the rest of the diploid embryos is a challenge. In this study, we demonstrated that an anthocyanin marker, namely R1-nj, which is integrated into most haploid inducers, can aid in distinguishing haploid and diploid embryos. Further, we tested conditions that enhance R1-nj anthocyanin marker expression in embryos and found that light and sucrose enhance anthocyanin expression, while phosphorous deprivation in the media had no affect. Validating the use of the R1-nj marker for haploid and diploid embryo identification using a gold standard classification based on visual differences among haploids and diploids for characteristics such as seedling vigor, erectness of leaves, tassel fertility, etc., indicated that the R1-nj marker could lead to significantly high false positives, necessitating the use of additional markers for increased accuracy and reliability of haploid embryo identification.
Fusarium wilt of banana is a devastating disease that has decimated banana production worldwide. Host resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense (Foc), the causal agent of this disease , is genetically dissected in this study using two Musa acuminata ssp. Malaccensis segregating populations, segregating for Foc Tropical (TR4) and Subtropical (STR4) race 4 resistance. Marker loci and trait association using 11 SNP-based PCR markers allowed the candidate region to be delimited to a 12.9 cM genetic interval corresponding to a 959 kb region on chromosome 3 of 'DH-Pahang' reference assembly v4. Within this region, there was a cluster of pattern recognition receptors , namely leucine-rich repeat ectodomain containing receptor-like protein kinases, cysteine-rich cell-wall-associated protein kinases, and leaf rust 10 disease-resistance locus receptor-like proteins, positioned in an interspersed arrangement. Their transcript levels were rapidly upregulated in the resistant progenies but not in the susceptible F2 progenies at the onset of infection. This suggests that one or several of these genes may control resistance at this locus. To confirm the segregation of single-gene resistance, we generated an inter-cross between the resistant parent 'Ma850' and a susceptible line 'Ma848', to show that the STR4 resistance co-segregated with marker '28820' at this Citation: Chen, A.; Sun, J.; Viljoen, A.; Mostert, D.; Xie, Y.; Mangila, L.; Bothma, S.; Lyons, R.; Hřibová, E.; Christelová, P.; et al.
Key message Reciprocal recurrent selection sometimes increases genetic gain per unit cost in clonal diploids with heterosis due to dominance, but it typically does not benefit autopolyploids. Abstract Breeding can change the dominance as well as additive genetic value of populations, thus utilizing heterosis. A common hybrid breeding strategy is reciprocal recurrent selection (RRS), in which parents of hybrids are typically recycled within pools based on general combining ability. However, the relative performances of RRS and other breeding strategies have not been thoroughly compared. RRS can have relatively increased costs and longer cycle lengths, but these are sometimes outweighed by its ability to harness heterosis due to dominance. Here, we used stochastic simulation to compare genetic gain per unit cost of RRS, terminal crossing, recurrent selection on breeding value, and recurrent selection on cross performance considering different amounts of population heterosis due to dominance, relative cycle lengths, time horizons, estimation methods, selection intensities, and ploidy levels. In diploids with phenotypic selection at high intensity, whether RRS was the optimal breeding strategy depended on the initial population heterosis. However, in diploids with rapid-cycling genomic selection at high intensity, RRS was the optimal breeding strategy after 50 years over almost all amounts of initial population heterosis under the study assumptions. Diploid RRS required more population heterosis to outperform other strategies as its relative cycle length increased and as selection intensity and time horizon decreased. The optimal strategy depended on selection intensity, a proxy for inbreeding rate. Use of diploid fully inbred parents vs. outbred parents with RRS typically did not affect genetic gain. In autopolyploids, RRS typically did not outperform one-pool strategies regardless of the initial population heterosis.
Despite studies conducted with other seaweed species on in vitro gas production, until now, no studies have been reported on the use of pelagic Sargassum as potential ruminant feed. Thus, the objective of the present study was to determine the effect of Sargassum inclusion, using tropical grass as substrate, on in vitro gas production kinetics. Additionally, heavy metals and macroand microminerals were determined in Sargassum. For that, in vitro incubations were performed with different levels of Sargassum inclusion on a basal substrate (Stargrass hay). In vitro results showed that up to 30% pelagic Sargassum could be included in hay-based substrates from tropical grasses.
In rural Ghana, infant feeding is largely home-based or community-based yet less is known about the kinds of community-based infant foods and the ability of families to create a range of recipes for baby feeding using context-specific ingredients particularly in northern Ghana which has a high prevalence of malnutrition. In this explorative study on mothers (15–49 years; n = 46), we investigated community-based infant foods’ food group composition, enrichment, nutrient contribution, and acceptability. The identified community-based infant foods were mainly made of either corn or millet porridges in northern Ghana and had three nutrients with % RNI ≥ 70. We developed 38 recipes of enriched community-based infant foods adding underutilized foods (orange-fleshed sweet potato, pawpaw, cowpea, moringa, groundnut, Bambara beans, and soya beans) to increase the number of nutrients from three to at least five and at most nine nutrients with % RNI ≥ 70 based on the recipe combinations. The enriched community-based infant food recipes provided adequate caloric amounts and modest improvements in micronutrient content for infants (6–12 months). All recipes tested were deemed appropriate and acceptable for infants by mothers. Moringa and pawpaw emerged as the lowest-cost ingredients to add among the underutilized foods. Future research is necessary to assess the effectiveness of the new recipes at promoting linear growth and improving micronutrient status during the complementary feeding period.
Depending on the trait architecture and reproduction system, selection strategies in plant breeding focus on the accumulation of additive, dominance effects, or both. Innovation in the exploitation of dominance-effect-based heterosis has been limited since the proposal of GCA-based approaches. We propose the use of a new surrogate of genetic complementation between genetic pools to increase accumulation of dominance effects and heterosis. We simulated breeding programs to show how reciprocal recurrent selection by genetic complementation would build the dominance-based heterosis cheaper than GCA-based approaches and used real phenotypic data from hybrid maize (Zea mays) to demonstrate the underlying concepts. We found reciprocal recurrent selection by genetic complementation to be an attractive and viable strategy to exploit dominance, build de novo heterotic pools and enhance the current GCA-based approaches. If demonstrated in practice, we hypothesized that this approach would lower the cost of hybrid breeding drastically and contribute to food security.
Antimicrobial use (AMU) is a major driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). An understanding of current practices can lead to better targeting of AMU-reducing interventions. An analysis of the distribution and current usage of veterinary drugs in peri-urban smallholder poultry systems in Kenya was undertaken. A survey among poultry farmers and key informant interviews with agrovet operators and other players in the value chain was conducted in Machakos and Kajiado counties. Interview data were analyzed using descriptive and thematic approaches. A total of 100 farmers were interviewed. The majority (58%) were > 50 years old, and all kept chickens, while 66% kept other livestock. Antibiotics constituted 43% of the drugs reportedly used on the farms (n = 706). These were mostly administered by the farmers themselves (86%) through water (98%). Leftover drugs were stored for later use (89%) or disposed of (11%). Incineration was the main method for the disposal of leftover drugs and empty containers. As described by the key informants (n = 17), the drug distribution chain relied on agrovet shops that were supplied by local distributors and pharmaceutical companies, which, in turn, supplied drugs to the farmers. Farmers reportedly purchased drugs without prescriptions and rarely observed the withdrawal periods. Drug quality was a concern, especially for products requiring reconstitution.
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1,773 members
Mahalingam Govindaraj
  • Division HarvestPlus
Mabrouk A. El-Sharkawy
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Franklin Simtowe
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Paramita Palit
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Olaniyi Oyatomi
  • Genetic Resources Center
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