A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands



This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.

The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.

SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).




PAPGREN coordination and support

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Potatoes with a Nutritional Punch

    From : SW News Herald

    By SANDY MILLER HAYS, Agricultural Research ServiceTalk about a "vegetable for all seasons" — that's the potato.In the spring and summer, what picnic would be complete without potato salad? In the cooler months, nothing can beat a hearty potato soup. And just imagine how lonely that sizzling steak would be on your plate without its buddy, the baked potato.That's probably why the spud is Americans' favorite veggie; U.S. consumers eat about 130 pounds of potatoes per person every year. Now here's even more reason to love potatoes: They're loaded with good-for-you plant compounds called phytochemicals.
    Although phytochemicals aren't considered essential vitamins or nutrients, they're thought to promote human health in a variety of wonderful ways, such as neutralizing cancer-causing agents and cell-damaging molecules called free radicals.In the past, folks have tended to associate phytochemicals with brightly colored fruits and veggies, or the dark green vegetables like broccoli or brussels sprouts. What tends to come to mind with potatoes is starch and carbs.But the scientists of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) say we need to adjust how we think about potatoes, because they're packed with substances called phenolic compounds that have all sorts of health-promoting capabilities, including antioxidant activity.The ARS scientists aren't just speculating about spuds. They've come up with new analytical methods that help them detect phytochemicals and their concentrations in the potatoes' skins and flesh.They've put these methods to work on some 100 wild and commercially grown potatoes, and have uncovered up to 60 different phytochemicals and vitamins. The lineup includes vitamin C, folic acid, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids, and one that's new to me and perhaps to you: kukoamines, which might be able to help lower blood pressure.Prior to a 2005 report by the Institute of Food Research, kukoamines had only been found in a Chinese medicinal plant called Lycium chinense. But the ARS research team in Washington State has used their new analytical methods to find more than five different kinds of kukoamines in potatoes grown right there in the Pacific Northwest.One question that remains unanswered at this point is whether we consumers could get enough of a phytochemical like kukoamine from eating normal-size servings of potatoes that contain it. Although plant breeding efforts in the past have tended to focus on making a crop more productive or more resistant to pests, new interest might be focused on breeding specifically to elevate the crop's nutrient content, once scientists have pinpointed the roles of the various healthful compounds.For example, one promising group of compounds is called flavonoids. These natural substances could help diminish the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases, respiratory problems such as asthma, and even certain cancers, such as prostate and lung cancer.There are other flavonoids, such as the anthocyanins in blueberries, that help wipe out free radicals before they can harm your body's cells and tissues. So far, the ARS researchers have shown that there can be as much as a 30-fold difference in the flavonoid concentrations in potato specimens—so there's lots of room to maneuver in a potato breeding program!Another appealing flavonoid is quercetin, which is abundant in red onions. Today the quercetin levels in potatoes are generally lower than those in the onions, but on the plus side, the average American eats more potatoes than red onions. It's possible that as the scientists keep probing the phytochemical content of potatoes, they'll find a potato with an unusually high content of quercetin—or something equally useful.There's certainly lots of room for exploration in the world of potato profiling. Take, for example, folic acid, which is very important in the diets of expectant mothers because of its role in proper fetal development. The ARS scientists looked at 70 types of potatoes and found a nearly three-fold difference between the high-folic-acid types and those with less of this important substance. Before they started their analysis, only six varieties of potato had ever been examined for folic acid content.Eventually, the scientists will turn their profiling results over to potato breeders—and someday in the not-too-distant future, we lucky consumers may all be enjoying Super-Spud!

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    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

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