The list of the 100 species, developed by African scientists and their colleagues elsewhere, is being released so that researchers around the world can contact the consortium with suggestions for research needs regarding the selected species. The crop list, which includes African eggplant, amaranth and spider plant, is available at the consortium's website at: http://www.mars.com/global/african-orphan-crops.aspx.
With generous in-kind contributions by its partners, the consortium will sequence a reference genome and 100 lines for each of the crops listed.
The first orphan crop to be studied will be baobab, which can be used as a dried fruit powder for consumer products. Baobab is called "the wonder tree" in
The consortium's goal is to use the latest scientific equipment and techniques to guide the development of more robust produce with higher nutritional content. "Orphan crops" are African food crops and tree species that have been neglected by researchers and industry because they are not economically important on the global market.
The academy will train 250 plant breeders and technicians in genomics and marker-assisted selection for crop improvement over a five-year period. The resulting improved planting materials will then be offered to smallholder farmers throughout
The academy provides scientists and technicians with a dedicated place to sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes to help develop food crops with higher nutritional value and which can better withstand climate changes, pests and disease. The data derived will be made publically available with the endorsement of the
The consortium invites communities focusing on the development of orphan crops to collaborate with the consortium on improving the productivity and nutrition of these crops.
More information on such collaborative opportunities is available from
Related information is also available at the
TNS 30TagarumaMar-140118-4607268 30TagarumaMar
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