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The diversity of crops: from conservation of ancient varieties to advances of science

English title The diversity of crops: from conservation of ancient varieties to advances of science
Applicant Felber François
Number 164820
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Laboratoire de Botanique Évolutive Institut de Biologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Botany
Start/End 01.06.2016 - 28.02.2018
Approved amount 98'400.00
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Keywords (9)

didactic activities; agriculture; seed banks; plant defences; wheat; fungal diseases; exhibition; botany; conservation of genetic resources

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La conservation des ressources génétiques des plantes sauvages et cultivées représente une base nécessaire au développement d’une agriculture durable et à la création de nouvelles variétés adaptées à l'évolution des besoins et aux changements climatiques. Cette problématique est abordée dans le cadre d'une exposition et d'une série d'animations qui auront lieu entre mai et octobre 2017 aux Musée et Jardins botaniques cantonaux vaudois.
Lay summary

Les banques de gènes jouent un rôle important dans la conservation des ressources génétiques. Le Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry en Russie et le Svalbard Global Seed Vault en Norvège font partie des plus grandes banques de gènes. Plusieurs initiatives nationales participent à la conservation des ressources génétiques, comme par exemple pour la Suisse, les Agroscopes, Pro Specie Rara, et Rétropomme. En outre, la recherche fondamentale sur l'évolution des plantes cultivées permet de caractériser les ressources génétiques et documente leur origine ainsi que les possibilités d'hybridation avec des espèces apparentées. Ces données sont nécessaires à l’élaboration de programmes de croisements dans le but de créer nouvelles variétés. Elles servent également à établir les conditions nécessaires au confinement d'un transgène dans un champ de plantes modifiées génétiquement.

Ce projet consiste en une exposition et un large programme d’animations sur les enjeux et les défis de la conservation de la diversité des plantes cultivées. L’exposition se déroulera entre mai et octobre 2017 aux Musée et Jardins botaniques cantonaux de Lausanne et de Pont-de-Nant. Elle consistera en trois volets principaux : (1) la diversité des variétés cultivées, (2) l'importance de leur conservation, ainsi que les ressources naturelles, comme une base pour le développement de nouvelles variétés et (3) la nécessité de recherches fondamentales et appliquées pour le développement d’une agriculture durable.

L’exposition bénéficiera des photos du photographe professionnel Mario Del Curto, qui portent sur les deux plus grandes banques de gènes mondiales citées ci-dessus, ainsi que sur des instituts de recherches fondamentales et appliquées en Suisse. Dans les deux jardins botaniques, des cultures de variétés suisses et russes illustreront la diversité des plantes cultivées.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.05.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Agroscope Changins, Beate Schierscher Viret Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Université de Lausanne, Prof. Edward Farmer Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Université de Neuchâtel, Prof. Christian Parisod (actuellement Berne) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Station Recherche Agroscope, Dr José Vouillamoz Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry Russia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Pro Specie Rara, Denise Gautier Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Rétropomme, Philippe Küpfer, Boris Bachofen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Mario Del Curto Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Université de Zurich, Prof Beat Keller Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Agenda Lausanne Cité, 29.09.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Appel à préserver les graines de demain 24 heures, 14.06.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Atelier Rézoscience Graines pour le futur 12.09.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Brève 24 heures, 14.06.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Cerises en bouche, mardi botanique par Rétropomme, 20.07.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Comment ProSpecieRara s'insipire de l'Institut Vavilov, mardi botanique, 3.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Comment ProSpecieRara s'inspire de l'Institut Vavilov pour ses travaux Lausanne.ch, 4.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions De la Ferme des Tilleuls au Jardin botanique de Lausanne, 10.09.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Du Jardin botanique de Lausanne à la Ferme des Tilleuls, 7.06.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Du Jardin botanique de Lausanne à la Ferme des Tilleuls, 8.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Fête de la Nature, Visites commentées de 'exposition, 21.05.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Graines pour le futur RTS La 1ère, cqfd, 26.09.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Graines pour le futur, catalogue de l'exposition Western Switzerland 2017
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Graines pour le futur, flyer spécifique des activités Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, mardi botanique par Mario Del Curto, 5.09.18 Western Switzerland 2017
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Graines pour le futur, mini dossier pédagogique à l'intention des écoles Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite commentée avec Pro Specie Rara, 22.06.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Graines pour le futur, visite commentée avec Rétropomme, 14.09.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite commentée en anglais, 17.08.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite commentée en anglais, 20.07.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition de Pont-de-Nant, 16.07.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition de Pont-de-Nant, 2.07.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition de Pont-de-Nant, 9.07.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition pour l'équipe d'Agroscope Conthey, 13.09.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition pour les Amis du Jardin botanique Fribourg, 16.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Graines pour le futur, visite de l'exposition, 19.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Graines pour le futur. Conservation et recherche à l'Institut Vavilov et Lausanne.ch, 14.09.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media La botanique dans tous ses états Feuille des avis officiels Vaud, 22.08.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: radio, television Le musée du jardin botanique de Lausanne propose un voyage au coeur de la diversité des plantes La Télé VD-FR, 11.07.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Le trésor sans égal de Nikolaï Vavilov La Liberté, 3.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Nuit des musées, visites commentées de l'exposition, 23.09.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions OGM et biotechnologies, café scientifique en collaboration avec la SVSN, 2.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media OGM et biotechnologies, que mangera le monde de demain? Lausanne.ch, 28.09.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Préserver les graines pour le futur Echo magazine, 6.07.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Rencontre avec l'Institut Vavilov, table ronde à la Ferme des Tilleuls, 21.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Rencontre avec l'Institut Vavilov, visite de l'exposition à Lausanne, 21.10.17 Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Sorties du jour, Lausanne VD, L'avenir se dessine dans les graines. Le Matin Dimanche, 25.06.2017 Western Switzerland 2017
Video/Film Voyage vers, promotion des expositions Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Workshop Agora, organisé par le Réseau Romand Science et Cité, Graines pour le futur, 13.33.17 Western Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
115597 Genetic and ecological consequences of introgression of transgenic wheat in a wild relative, Aegilops cylindrica: an open field experiment 01.06.2007 NRP 59 Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants
153388 Comparative phylogeography of wild wheat and their inhabiting transposable elements 01.07.2014 Project funding
115578 Potential for transgene flow from wheat to its wild relatives Aegilops sp. 01.06.2007 NRP 59 Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants

Abstract

Conservation of biodiversity and genetic resources in a sustainable way and development of new crop varieties are among the most important challenges of our society. With an exhibition and its associated activities between May and October 2017, we intend to raise public awareness on (1) the diversity of crop varieties, (2) the importance to preserve them, together with natural resources, as a basis for future development of agriculture, (3) the importance of fundamental and applied scientific research for the characterization and use of diversity, (4) the perspectives in conservation and research in a rapidly changing world.For that purpose, we will take advantage of the indoor facilities offered by the Botanical Museum and the outdoor spaces at the Botanical Garden of Lausanne and at the Alpine Garden of Pont-de-Nant in the Alps, all subunits of the Botanical Museum and Gardens of Canton Vaud. The exhibition will start outdoors, in Lausanne, with the cultivation of a collection of Russian and Swiss varieties of several crops, illustrating the diversity of genetic resources. Moreover, the wild progenitors of wheat and other related cereals (Triticale, barley, rye, etc.), as well as the wild ancestor of maize, teosinte, will be cultivated for explaining the processes of domestication. In the Museum, the indoor exhibition will start with a short presentation on the legislative framework of conservation of genetic resources. Legal bases of sustainable use of genetic resources are given by the Convention on Biological Diversity (1993) and the Nagoya Protocol (2014). Moreover, seed and plants exchanges between botanical gardens are regulated by an agreement on sampling and traceability (International Plant Exchange Network, IPEN). In a second step, the importance of in situ conservation and seed banks will be explained. Seed banks are essential for the conservation of ancestors of crops and cultivars, which may serve as a reservoir of genes for the development of new varieties. They may be used either for conventional breeding, marker assisted selection or genetic transformation. The role and the maintenance of seed banks will be exemplified by two famous examples: the Russian Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, and the Norwegian Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Important Swiss actors will be also presented as, for example, Agroscope Changins, Agroscope Conthey, Pro Specie Rara and Rétropomme.The alpine Garden of Pont-de-Nant will focus more specifically on the domestication of alpine plant with examples of the researches carried out in Agroscope Conthey.A section will be devoted to scientific research with four themes. (1) Fundamental research on plant defences using the jasmonate pathway (Prof. Edward Farmer, University of Lausanne). (2) Characterization of genetic resources of wild wheats (PD Dr François Felber and PD Dr Christian Parisod, Universities of Lausanne and Neuchâtel). (3) Molecular studies on wheat fungal disease resistance and applications for the development of new resistant varieties (Prof. Dr Beat Keller, University of Zurich). (4) Risk assessment of gene flow between cultivated wheat and wild relatives (PD Dr F. Felber and PD Dr C. Parisod).Finally, the perspectives in conservation of genetic resources and in research on the development of new crops varieties will be discussed, in particular with the perspective of the end of the moratorium of the cultivation of transgenic crops, planned for 2017.A great importance will be given to the iconography. Therefore, collaboration with Mario Del Curto, a well-known photographer working in Lausanne is foreseen. Mario Del Curto, has been working since several years on the Vavilov Institute and more recently on Svalbard. The present project aims to support his work on Swiss institutions.We will focus on five target audiences: (1) primary schools, (2) high schools, (3) families, (4) adult public and (5) senior citizens. Activities and communication will be adapted to each public. A large panel of workshops, guided tours and conferences will be proposed. The exhibition will be highlighted during the main events of the summer season, spanning from the Spring Festival (end of May), the Botanical Week, Botanica (June) to the Museum Night (late September) and with the Botanical Tuesdays in-between.Key words: conservation, scientific research, genetic resources, botany, agriculture, wheat, plant defences, fungal diseases
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