Scientific Journeys of the BIOVEG network, September 27-29, 2010, UASVM Cluj-Napoca
Conference Information: 12th International BIOVEG Symposium Plant Biodiversity and Food Diversification
Place: University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, September 27-29, 2010
The aim of the BIOVEG Symposium is to present the latest scientific results on all aspects of research in plant biotechnology. Various tools are now available to describe the biological diversity of plant species useful for food diversification. They allow fine analysis of basic components, but also their interactions, using different and complementary disciplines such as genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and physiology.
The involvement of Plant biodiversity and Food diversification in one symposium is not a common process. However, the FAO data (2008) relevant to the state of the food worldwide are clear on at least two main points:
I) there is a well-defined relationship between the quality of diet and dietary diversification;
II) the most affected countries are India, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific area of Asia and China as they have a high potential of biodiversity.
If food is a vital necessity, the overall diet is different between rich and poor countries. In poor countries, cereals, roots and tubers cover 66% of eaten plants. In rich countries, fruits and vegetables play a much larger role (19% vs. 11%). In rich countries, attention is increasingly paid to the nutritional quality and food intakes for a better life. In poor countries, it is foremost eat to survive.
Nearly 900 million peoples suffering from hunger in the world but 90% of them live in developing countries. India (231 MH) is at the head, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (212 MH), Asia- Pacific (189 MH) and China (123 MH). The rest of the world has barely 100 MH malnourished peoples. However, the Pacific area of Asia provided the world with many domesticated plant species (Citrus, numerous fruits and vegetables).
Tools to describe biodiversity of plant species for food diversification have made many advances in recent years. New technologies allow deep and detailed analysis of the biodiversity and quality of the food supply. Several different and complementary disciplines such as genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and physiology are involved. Beyond the simple description step, it is to improve products or value-added varieties and also to maintain traditional pools of genetic diversity for tomorrow. We must also appeal to disciplines such as plant breeding or the wide range of plant biotechnologies to generate new diversity aspects and to preserve existing genetic resources. This requires of course a broad collaboration of local people, the best able to defend their specificities.
In this context, the 2010 Conference of Scientific Journeys of the BIOVEG network was organized around five main sessions:
1. Genetic resources, local domestication, plant breeding, cytogenetics.
2. Plants - micro-organisms interaction which includes phytopathology, symbiotic relationship, toxins impacts.
3. Final biochemical composition, antioxidants analysis, lipid contents and composition, metabolic pathways regulations.
4. Non-conventional diversity creation methods such as induced mutations.
5. Ex situ and in situ genetic resources conservation.
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