Agrobiodiversity

We have moved! The bigger, better, brand new CIAT blog is here (link). Please note this blog is not updated anymore.

Agrobiodiversity / / The end of a life dedicated to making bean diversity available for humanity

The end of a life dedicated to making bean diversity available for humanity

CIAT mourns the loss of research assistant Orlando Toro-Chica, whose death on 22 January has deprived the Center’s Genetic Resources Program of a friend and a highly dedicated professional. He spent 40 years documenting the diversity of Phaseolus beans conserved in the Center’s genebank.

orlando_blogAn internationally recognized expert on bean genetic resources, Orlando was always willing to dedicate time to help colleagues better understand the background and significance of different bean accessions. Upon first joining the CIAT Bean Program in 1974, he quickly realized the importance of appropriately documenting genetic resources. Then, in 1977, when the Center established its Genetic Resources Unit, he took responsibility for safely introducing into the genebank many large collections of Phaseolus beans. Since then, these have proved essential for identifying resistance to diseases and pests, and for the success and lasting impact of many elite varieties developed by the Bean Program.

Thanks to Orlando’s efforts, the number of bean accessions in the genebank has climbed steadily from just a couple of thousands in 1977 to 37,810 accessions today. The increase resulted in part from his germplasm collections in Colombia and Ecuador during the 1980s and early 1990s. Naturally, he was especially curious about his own country’s bean diversity, and he correctly recognized early on that the Colombian materials rightly deserved collection and study. Fascinated by diversity, he was always particularly fond of rare variants – which are precisely the resources that make CIAT’s bean collection so unique.

Mainly as a result of Orlando’s efforts, CIAT has been able to distribute thousands of bean samples to more than 100 countries, to send safety backup collections to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico as well as the Global Seed Vault at Svalbard, Norway, and to restore various collections that were lost over the years.

orlando_toro2

Orlando authored or co-authored more than 30 widely cited publications, covering the taxonomy of new Phaseolus species, the distribution and ecology of wild bean species, genetic diversity, gene flow, and protein quality. Highly esteemed by bean researchers around the world, he was a constant and reliable source of information and data. The bean database available on CIAT’s website is one of his most important and lasting contributions.

CIAT has made available a special website where friends and colleagues can share thoughts, memories, and photos as well as condolences for the Toro family.

By Dr. Daniel Debouck,
Genetic Resources Program Leader.

Suscribe to our newsletter
Search News by Date:
November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  
  • Reinhardt Howeler: Thanks, Keith. It was a pleasure writing this book as it brought back so many good memories of working with cassava, both in Latin America and in Asia. I was lucky that the Nippon Foundation suggested that I write this book and financed its publication. They also wanted a simplified version for farmers and extension workers that could be translated into various languages. The English version of this new book is now going to press in Hanoi, while the Khmer and Vietnamese translations are also ready for printing and the Thai and Chinese translations are still being worked on. In case you are interested in the English version, let me know. My email address is still r.howeler@cgiar.org. And let me know where you are working now and what you are doing. Reinhardt
  • Peter de Vroome: Great invention! Could be very usefull in our research in fast detecting CFSD in our planting material. Is this kit already for sale? Peter de Vroome phytopathologist Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (C.E.L.O.S.)
  • German-funded research on climate-smart crop-livestock systemsSupport CIAT: […] Written by: Angela Fernando […]
  • Keith Fuglie: An impressive publication! Reinhardt Howeler has done an incredible job of summarizing lessons from nearly 30 years of work on cassava improvement in Asia. This very successful collaboration between CIAT and national research programs demonstrates what can be achieved through modest but persistent investment in agricultural research, even with a relatively neglected crop grown primarily by poor farm families in marginal environments.
  • Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect ve...: […] Jeff Stuart, an insect molecular geneticist from Purdue University, USA, is bringing new ideas to unravel the genetic secrets of insect vectors of crop virus diseases (RT @CGIAR: News: Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect vectors of crop virus...  […]
  • Kellan: i am also working on ppd on cassava. can you please help me find find a suitable protocol to analyse ppd.
  • ALI SALEM IBRAHIM: Hi we looking to start collaborations with ciat center if it,s possible.
  • maillot monaco pas cher: maillot monaco pas cher... It is wonderful to locate a site about my desire. My very first go to to your website is been a huge support. Thank you for the efforts you been putting on making. your site such an intriguing and informative area to search by means of....
  • cheap gucci: cheap gucci... An attention-grabbing discussion is worth comment. I believe that it is best to write extra on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic however usually people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers...