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The coffee brewing something together

On the morning Cup of coffee, someone thinks that if scientists bemoan the loss of biological diversity. The botanist Aaron Davis and his colleagues of the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens to see but quite relationships: Because the two types of Arabica and Robusta to deliver be drunk almost the entire crop of the coveted beans for the enjoyment of every day in the world, an estimated two billion cups of.

This could be the Problem: Should the climate change, the cultivation of coffee, namely, for example by more frequent periods of drought in difficulties or emerging pests or plant diseases should decimate the Crops strong, could breeders to solve the Problem, if you resilient crossing wild coffee species. Worldwide, there are at least 124 species. According to the world conservation Union IUCN are threatened 60 percent of these Species or in danger of extinction, reported the British researchers last week in the journal "Science Advances".

How important could be wild coffee, shows the year 1868. At that time, the fungal disease coffee reached a grate in the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and destroyed the coffee plantations. "Therefore, it was abandoned in Ceylon, the cultivation of coffee, instead of tea plantations have been created", says Manfred Denich, from the centre for development research, University of Bonn. By 1890, the cultivation of coffee in Ceylon was practically broke, and the British colonial masters started, tea is preferable.

There are no gene banks, such as in the case of wheat or Corn

Meanwhile, the coffee has the important plan rust reached days in Latin America and in the last few years, significant damage is done. Although the fungus can be infection with fungicides or copper preparations, fight, only those resources for many of the roughly 100 million coffee growers in the world are simply too expensive. It would be better, therefore, that wild Arabica varieties, or other wild type compatibility generations so which is natural against these fungus-resistant.

In similar cases in the case of wheat or Maize breeders have been looking for such resistant plants in gene banks, in which grains of many different varieties and locations, as well as the wild ancestors of the cooling and dry stored for many years safely. "Coffee and wild coffee that doesn't work, unfortunately, because the coffee berries are very quickly lose germination capability," says Denich.

gene banks for coffee there is, therefore, not from cold stored seed, but of coffee shrubs, which are planted Outdoors and in which you have to prevent other varieties to pollinate to other plots of their neighbors. This is much more complicated and expensive; just the often not really rich tropical countries poking at financial limits. Although there is now the possibility to make coffee seeds by freeze-drying is durable. "That's been studied, but only in the main locations," says Denich. In fact, only 68 of the total of 124 wild coffee species, so only half are in the gene banks of the world.

protected areas in Ethiopia between 1000 and 2100 meters of altitude

it would be Better, therefore, to protect the areas in which the types of coffee and the many varieties of Arabica and Robusta grow in the wild. Exactly, but difficult, because most species grow there, of all places, where the population is on the increase, reported British researchers. So half of the world's well-known coffee species grows on the island of Madagascar with 59 species, almost 43 of which are endangered or even threatened with extinction. The main hazards are, in turn, the clear-cutting of the forests where wild coffee species to grow, to make room for cattle pastures, to gain arable land and settlements for the rapidly growing population, as well as Collecting wood for the Fire.

in Order to receive the diversity of species of the coffee plant, the researchers have to Davis, therefore, protected areas. How this can work, shows Ethiopia. There, the ancestors of the most important coffees of our time, the scores mainly with its intense Aroma grow in altitudes between 1000 and 2100 meters with the wild varieties of Arabica coffee. In the meantime, there are three biosphere reserves, where the wild coffee and its variants are protected.

one Of these protected areas has initiated Denich. "In one part of this area, people build Arabica coffee that they can sell well," says the Bonn-based coffee researchers. The people earning their living, and the wild coffee is protected anyway. Maybe that could be a model for the protection of other regions of West Africa to Australia, where wild relatives of the crops to grow.

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 27.01.2019, 17:00 Uhr

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