Heirloom, GMO, and Hybrid Seed Debate

Scott Jackson of the University of Georgia on Heirloom Seeds: Current and Future Trends

Scott Jackson of the University of Georgia
Scott Jackson of the University of Georgia

So many of us have no idea the importance the type of seed used to produce the food we consume has on a society.  Today, Scott Jackson, professor at the University of Georgia, will join Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project to discuss the current and future trends in seed genetics and the use in our world today.  We will be discussing the concepts of domestication, bottlenecks and epigenetics as it relates to the world of growing food.

For the complete show, visit here.

Areas we will touch on today’s show are the following: The Debate on the Use of GMO’s. Seeds that are cloned and then transferred together control pests and disease.   Hybrid and the value to the food supply. Hybrid seeds and crossing the strands, corn, rice, need to solve the problems.  Only works in a few crops.  Heirlooms.  Seeds that were used before commercialization and open pollinated.

Here are a couple articles for additional research.

1.  Wall Street Journal on the GMO Debate.

2.  Natural News on the return of the small, organic farmer or garden

3. Natural News on the political side of the debate related to sovereignty of nations and the use of certain seeds

4. Green Depot on the difference and debate to use hybrids or heirloom seeds.

Here are the links for additional reading recommended by Scott Jackson:

1. Need to use genetic diversity to feed the growing population. Nature website

2. Seeds of Discovery website

3. USDA seed collections for various plants

4. Example of rice collection in the Philippines

About Scott Jackson:

Scott Jackson’s research focuses on the application of genomics and cytogenetics to understand the structure, function and evolution of plant genomes, with a focus on the rice, soybean, common bean and peanut.  The Jackson lab has been involved in sequencing plant genomes such as soybean, common bean, pigeonpea, chickpea and peanut. Research includes evolutionary studies of individual species as well as entire genera (e.g. Oryzeae and Glycine). We use cytogenetics to explore chromosome structure and function. Much of our work is at the intersection of genomics/epigenomics and bioinformatics. We generate and utilize large genomic data sets to discover genes, make gene-phenotype correlations and provide tools for engineering improved crops.