¿Cómo asegurar el futuro de la papa y otros alimentos? | Vania Azevedo | TEDxTukuy

¿Cómo asegurar el futuro de la papa y otros alimentos? | Vania Azevedo | TEDxTukuy

Climate Change and Food Production

Plant Conservation Strategies

  • In situ conservation preserves plants in their natural environment or where they are traditionally managed.
  • Ex situ conservation preserves plants outside their natural environment in genebanks, which are repositories of plant diversity under controlled conditions.
  • Germoplasma refers to specialized cells containing hereditary genetic material passed down through generations.
  • Different conservation strategies are used depending on the plant species and their reproductive characteristics.

Seed Conservation

  • Seeds that can withstand dehydration and freezing are preserved in cold chambers at -20°C and can survive up to 100 years.
  • Plants that cannot be conserved as seeds, such as potatoes and cassava, require different conservation methods like field conservation, in vitro conservation, and cryogenics.
  • Cryogenics involves preserving plant cells in liquid nitrogen at -196°C, allowing them to survive for centuries.

Seed Banks

  • The International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru, is part of an international consortium focused on preserving plant diversity and ensuring food security.
  • Nikolai Vavilov established the world's first national seed bank in 1922 to preserve crop diversity and address food production challenges.
  • Currently, there are over 1500 seed banks worldwide, preserving millions of plant varieties for food and agriculture.
  • Seed banks play a crucial role in preserving crop diversity and providing access to researchers for developing new varieties adapted to changing environmental conditions and resistant to diseases.
  • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure facility located in the Arctic that stores backup copies of seeds from around the world.

Challenges and Successes

  • Seed banks face challenges, such as the loss of seed banks in Afghanistan, Syria, and the Philippines due to conflicts and natural disasters.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions to seed banks, leading to the loss of biodiversity.
  • The International Seed Bank of Syria was able to preserve its collection by having a backup deposit at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
  • CIP conserves over 5000 varieties of potatoes, repatriating lost varieties to farmers affected by climate change and supporting food security.
  • CIP also distributes germplasm to over 100 countries and conducts research on biofortified crops, such as vitamin A-enriched sweet potatoes, to address malnutrition.

Cryogenic Preservation

  • Crops that cannot be preserved as seeds, such as potatoes, yams, and cassava, are being conserved through in vitro and cryogenic preservation at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru.
  • CIP is building a new facility called the Cryo Vault to serve as a backup repository for clonal crops from Latin America.

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