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Keeping the world safe for miso soup and Brazilian beans, arctic seed vault welcomes new treasures
Date:2/25/2014

rovement Center (known by its Spanish-language acronym CIMMYT) the International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIP); the Australian Grains Genebank and Australian Tropical Crops Collection; the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI); the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (known as Embrapa); and the Seed Savers Exchange of the United States.

Miso to Mugicha Tea, Whiskey to "Space Beer," Japan Embraces Barley

The Barley Germplasm Center of Okayama University delivered duplicates of 575 samples or "accessions" of barley and ultimately plans to send some 5,000 for safe-keeping in the vault. Professor Kazuhiro Sato of the university's Institute of Plant Science and Resources said barley experts in Japan became more concerned about the safety of the Japanese collection after the power failures that followed the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as seeds must be kept carefully chilled in order to survive.

"If something bad happened to our genebank, these resources could be damaged permanently," Professor Sato said. "Barley is very important not just for Japan but for the food security of the worldwe have varieties that are productive even in dry conditions and in saline soilsso we need to do everything we can to ensure they always will be available to future generations."

Barley is found throughout traditional Japanese cuisine or "washoku," which recently became the second culinary tradition, after French cooking, to be designated a "cultural heritage" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In Japan, barley is fermented to make a type of traditional miso soup and is often served in rice dishes. In addition, roasted barley is used to make a cold tea called mugicha that is a popular beverage in the summer months.

Japanese distillers use barley to make a type of whiskey similar to Scotch and to make an increasingly popular beverage called Sh
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Contact: Michelle Geis
mgeis@burnesscommunications.com
254-711-326-770

Nick Seaver
nseaver@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5727

Global Crop Diversity Trust
Source:Eurekalert


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