Go to the home page of The Bean Bag, Number 42, November 1995.
J. Michael Lock
Three of the four volumes arising from the 1992 Legume Conference at Kew have now been published. They are:
5: The Nitrogen Factor
Edited by J.I.Sprent and D.McKey
The papers address various aspects of the nitrogen economy of legumes, including nodulation and its evolution, the phytochemistry, costs and benefits of nitrogen compounds, and the relationships between legumes and their predators.
1994. ISBN 0 947643 77 X Price Pounds sterling 12.00
6: Structural Botany
Edited by I.K.Ferguson and S.C.Tucker
The papers in this volume deal with the phylogenetic implications of various structural aspects of legumes. Two general papers are followed by several on more specialized topics.
1994. ISBN 0 947643 78 8 Price Pounds sterling 15.00
Edited by M.D.Crisp and J.J.Doyle
17 papers discuss the phylogeny of both the whole family, and groups of various ranks and sizes within it. Most papers include cladistic analyses of the groups discussed.
1995. ISBN 0 947643 79 6 Price Pounds sterling 21.00
8: Legumes of Economic Importance, will appear during 1996.
All parts can be ordered from Mail Order Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdgom. Payments in pounds sterling (Pound sterling) only, please. Credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX) welcome. Please add 15 per cent to your order to cover postage and packing.
A leaflet with a full listing of papers in each volume can be obtained from Publications Sales, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE, United Kingdom, or e-mail: email@example.com.
The nitrogen-fixing genus Prosopis has more than 40 species native to North and South America and Asia that range from 1-meter-tall shrubs to 18-meter-tall trees. Hundreds of hectares of Prosopis occur naturally in Death Valley, California, the hottest location in the Western Hemisphere. Other Prosopis species have become naturalized to harsh semi-arid areas of Haiti, Sahelian Africa, and India. Prosopis pods, which are high in sugar (30%) with moderate levels of protein (12%), have been used for human and animal food by indigenous people for millennia. In Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, Prosopis pods are a critically important source of animal feed. In Peru, pods of especially sweet varieties are used for human food. In North America, soils under the canopy of Prosopis have 1,000 kg/ha more soil nitrogen and 8,000 kg/ha more soil carbon than soils outside the canopies of the trees. In India, Prosopis has been used to reclaim high-pH (10.4) soils. Prosopis strains have been found that will grow in salinities equal to ocean water. In Somalia, it has been used for sand-dune control. In many places of Sahelian Africa it is important for fuelwood and forage. In western India and Haiti, Prosopis provides more firewood than any other species. While the reddish/brown lumber of Prosopis is usually less than 2 meters in length and 0.4 meter in width, it finishes very well, is harder than oak, and more dimensionally stable than all lumber measured to date. Thus, production of flooring, fine furniture and artisanal products is a very active growth industry in the United States and Argentina.
Given the fact that one third of the earth's land surface is semi-arid or arid, when the local experiences with Prosopis are aggregated on a worldwide scale, Prosopis is a significant worldwide resource. Despite the widespread importance of Prosopis for firewood and forage for very poor people of Mexico, Haiti, Sahelian Africa, or India, due to very limited communication between these poor people of arid regions there has been little international awareness of the problem and potential for Prosopis. With recently improved genetic strains, soil management techniques, native-stand management techniques, and marketing efforts, there is great opportunity to rapidly improve the lives of very poor people in some of the world's most harsh ecosystems.
It is the intent of this workshop to stimulate awareness of the worldwide magnitude of the contribution that Prosopis has already made and to outline immediate concrete steps to rapidly improve the lives, economies, and the ecosystems of some of the world's poorest people.
The State Plaza Hotel, located a short walk from the National Academy of Sciences Building as well as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial, is the official workshop hotel. A special government rate of $100/night single or double has been obtained, which is very reasonable for downtown Washington. A block of rooms has been reserved until 13 February 1996. As the peak tourist season is in March, you are requested to obtain a room before the 13th of February by calling 800-424-2859 or FAX 202-659-8601. Mention that you are with the Prosopis conference or speak with Ellen Berkowitz.
Updates for the workshop will be provided on the Prosopis e-mail network. To subscribe, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and type the following message: "Subscribe Prosopis". Then mail the message.
For further information contact: Peter Felker, Nancy Parish, or Becky Trant, Campus Box 218, Center for Semi-Arid Forest Resources, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas 78363, USA, Tel: 512-595-3966/3922, FAX: 512-595-3924, E-mail: email@example.com.
'BeanRef' is a collection of references about different aspects of research on beans (Phaseolus/Vigna). It contains addresses, short descriptions, and links to electronically available information. It is organized in the following subject areas: Germplasm collections and taxonomy, molecular biology and genetic maps, conferences and organizations, electronic and printed communication, and other references. Since a single person can not read all journals and newsletters, attend all conferences, and spend all their time surfing through the cyperspace of the Internet, the potential users of 'BeanRef' must provide new references. Everybody who has a collection, a data base, runs a conference, or has further information related to beans, please send a few lines with details as complete as possible to Mario Nenno at the address listed below. Also, if the references in 'BeanRef' are no longer valid or addresses have changed, please let him know. The more people contribute to 'BeanRef,' the more it will become a complete reference to research on beans.
'BeanRef' is available to everyone who can use a WWW browser like NCSA Mosaic, Netscape or even Lynx.
'BeanRef' is maintained by Mario Nenno, Abteilung Zellbiologie/ Division of Cell Biology Universität Kaiserslautern/ University of Kaiserslautern, Erwin-Schr-dinger-Strasse, D-67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany, Tel.: +49 631 205 2880, Fax: +49 631 205 2998, and E-mail/Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warren Williams and Deric Charlton
Dr. Margot Forde, one of New Zealand's foremost specialists in plant genetic resources, has died in Palmerston North. Margot was a great character with a tremendous sense of humor and a strong curiosity, and these characteristics saw her through her many adventures during long seed collecting trips in strange lands.
Margot had considerable standing as a plant systematist as well as being a leading conserver of grassland germplasm. She was the Curator of the New Zealand Forage Germplasm Centre, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North which, under her leadership, has become an internationally recognized resource for pasture botanists and plant researchers. During the XVII International Grassland Congress the center was renamed the Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre (New Zealand) as a permanent tribute to her work. Margot began her career as a botanist and wrote the text for sections of Flora of New Zealand, Volume 1, and also prepared the index for the Flora. She completed a Ph.D. with G. Ledyard Stebbins at Davis before taking time out to raise her family of three. After a part-time appointment in Botany at Massey University, Palmerston North she began her genetic resources work at Grasslands in 1973. Over the years at Grasslands she travelled far and wide to augment New Zealand's pasture seed collection and, in 1986, participated in Grasslands' first international collecting expedition through several Mediterranean countries.
In collaboration with many plant scientists, she collected and characterized a wide range of pasture species and had a particular affinity for the legumes for which she became an internationally recognized specialist. She also published systematic studies of several grass genera and, with Sue Gardiner, developed the use of seed proteins as a diagnostic tool for genetic resources of outcrossing pasture species.
She made memorable journeys to the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Regions of China and had many science exchanges with Chinese botanic groups and organizations. She also travelled through the republics of the Caucasus region in 1989 and contributed as legume specialist to an IPGRI-sponsored international expedition. Such ventures extended further the seed collection at Grasslands which now contains more than 70,000 entries held under medium and long-term storage conditions.
She was serious in her work, and enthusiastic and sincere towards the people with whom she worked. Her humor was one of her endearing characteristics, and she created a deep impression with her colleagues in many countries. The Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre recently joined the Australasian Network of Plant Genetic Resource Centres and is now the official gene bank for perennial temperate grassland plants for Australia and New Zealand - a further tribute to the work and memory of Margot Forde.
The New York Botanical Garden is pleased to announce that Ing. Nelson Zamora of the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), Costa Rica, is the recipient of the 1994 Rupert Barneby Award. Ing. Zamora will be working on several groups of mimosoid and caesalpinioid legumes for Costa Rica.
The New York Botanical Garden invites applications for the 1995 Rupert Barneby Award. The award of $1,000.00 is to assist researchers planning to come to The New York Botanical Garden to study the rich collection of Leguminosae. Anyone interested in applying for the award should submit their curriculum vitae, a letter describing the project for which the award is sought, and how the collection at NYBG will benefit their research. Travel to NYBG should be planned between January 1, 1996 and January 31, 1997. The letter should be addressed to Dr. Enrique Forero, Director, Institute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126 USA, and received no later than December 1, 1995. Announcement of the recipient will be made by December 15th. Anyone interested in making a contribution to The Rupert Barneby Fund in Legume Systematics, which supports this award, may send their check, payable to The New York Botanical Garden, to Dr. Forero.
Recent years have seen rapidly growing interest in developing novel crops and new uses for existing or under-utilized crops. The concern among scientists, agriculturalists, and industrialists in the developed world is driven by the need both to find viable uses for land no longer needed for food production and to find alternative renewable sources of raw materials. In less-developed countries, accelerating population growth and the need for sustainable development make it necessary constantly to raise productivity and improve nutrition through diversification of crops and better exploitation of under-utilized plants.
The International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC) has previously organized two international symposia - in 1987 on "New Crops for Food and Industry" and in 1991 on "New Crops for Europe." The objective of this 3rd international meeting is to highlight obstacles in the process of new crop development and determine, from practical experience, how to overcome them. The aim will be to extract general principles, and thus provide a practical basis to aid future work.
The cost of registration will be Pound sterling110 (including conference proceedings) with a reduced rate of Pound sterling55 for students (not including conference proceedings). Bed and breakfast accommodation in University Halls of Residence will be available at the University between 7 and 10 July at a cost of about Pound sterling20 a night.
The Society for Economic Botany and the International Society for Ethnopharmacology are holding a 5-day conference in London on Plants and Food and Medicine on 1-6 July 1996. Request further information on this conference or the preceding one from: Dr. N. Haq, Conference Secretariat, International Centre for Underutilised Crops, Building 62, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0) 1703 594229, FAX: +44 (0) 1703 594269, E-mail: email@example.com.