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Report: African, Asian, Latin American farm animals face extinction
Date:9/3/2007

natural disasters, or disease outbreaks.
  • The third approach that Ser is championing is a longer term one with great future potential for resource-poor farmers. It goes by the name of landscape genomics? and it combines advanced genomic and geographical mapping techniques to predict which breeds are best suited to which environments and circumstances around the world.
  • But for landscape genomicsor any of the other approachesto work, of course, scientists will need a wide variety of livestock genetic diversity to work with. For this reason, the fourth approach Ser is advocating is long-term insurance to put some in the bank,? by establishing genebanks to store semen, eggs, and embryos of farm animals.

    In the US, Europe, China, India, and South America, there are well-established genebanks actively preserving regional livestock diversity, said Ser. Sadly, Africa has been left wanting and that absence is sorely felt right now because this is one of the regions with the richest remaining diversity and is likely to be a hotspot of breed losses in this century.?

    But setting up genebanks is a first important step towards a long-term insurance policy for livestock. Ser noted that genebanks by themselves are not the only answer to conservation, particularly if they end up becoming stamp collections? that are never used.

    Individual countries are already conserving their unique animal genetic resources. The international community needs to step forward in support, said Ser. We support FAO?s call to action and the CGIAR stands ready to assist the international community in putting these words into action.
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  • Contact: Jeff Haskins
    jhaskins@burnesscommunications.com
    254-729-871-422
    CGIAR
    Source:Eurekalert

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