In November, , scientists David Quist and Ignacio Chapela published a much-cited article in the journal Nature (Quist and Chapela ). Investigating the. Ignacio Chapela (born ) is a microbial ecologist and mycologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for a paper in Nature on the. letters to nature. NATURE |VOL |29 NOVEMBER | David Quist & Ignacio H. Chapela. Department of Environmental Science, .

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Who we are

His research seems to indicate that some leaf-cutter ants naturd “domesticated” a single lineage of fungi for over 30 million years; Chapela is currently studying this symbiosis from evolutionary and agricultural perspectives, as well as looking for ways to manipulate it.

And why were most people left with the impression that the paper had been retracted, when it was not? These were all indigenous-run projects with the ideas and initiatives coming from the communities themselves.

Another reason was that the timing of these findings was really bad for the industry – our findings were biting up against the debates on the moratoria in Europe, Mexico and Brazil.

Ten years on 16 November The natue farmland grab by pension funds needs to stop 13 November Supermarkets out of Africa! He has appeared in several films on genetically modified organism and food systems issues, The World According to Monsanto and The Future of Food. We had also taken a sample from the local food agency, which also tested highly positive.

Quist and Chapela are among those Berkeley scientists who opposed this alliance, since they believed it compromised academic freedom. We said that Mexico had a moratorium on planting transgenic crops at the time, so it should not be something they needed to worry about immediately, but it might be something they would want to consider down the line as the situation might change.

Not so for microbes, where a given organism can take multiple shapes for example filamentous fungi turning into yeasts and viceversa; spores of various kinds can lead to multiple variations on the hyphal theme, and so onand indistinguishable cellular structures can belie quite different phylogenetic and ecological characters.

First, on the basis of a study with unprecedented precision in sampling and analysis, we show that a consistent difference between ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi in terms of stable isotope ratios is due more to substrate than to intrinsic processing.


The Mexican government did a follow-up study in response to your findings. The postings, which were submitted under the names of private jgnacio, portrayed Chapela, among other things, as an activist who colludes with environmentalists.

My participation in paper included design of experiments, identification of physiological interpretations and writing. Home about people projects.

Bivings, it turned out, has a strategy it calls “viral marketing. Principles emerging from this study include the lack of lineage-tracking in this important group, and its directed evolution and adaptive radiation towards drying environments. The Mexican Government established a moratorium on planting GM corn inso how did the transgenic maize get there?

The Case of Mexican Maize

We just don’t know. Why can corn from the U. We were suggesting that it is unstable, which infuriated the pro-biotech community.

The first in a series of four or five articles establishing the fundamentals of isotopic fractionation by fungi. One argued that the results were already common knowledge! His current research goal is to study gene flow ibnacio maize landraces and the teosintes their wild relatives in Mexico, and use this information together with population genetics models to evaluate the impact of this gene flow on the distribution of maize genes including human-inserted transgenes over time.

In Mexico, those questions have still to be answered. This page was last edited on 30 Decemberat Science that doesn’t tow the line of the pro-biotech, “progress-via-technology” mindset is considered “bad science. Why the need for a disavowal?

Third, using a novel analytical approach to genetic and biogeographical inference, we resolve for the first time the most probable migratory route behind the well-known vicariance pattern observed between the Eastern United States and S-E Asia. I don’t think it is insignificant that the most vocal detractors of our paper came from the camp that supported the Novartis deal back in After much debate and eight rounds of review, the manuscript was accepted.

In the first round, samples were taken from 22 communities in Pueblo in Mexico, 15 of which tested positive using the same Igancio technique that we used. Ignacio Chapela born is a microbial ecologist and cjapela at the University of California, Berkeley. What is the story behind the study that ignited such controversy around the world? Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. With this manuscript we establish several new concepts in the field of coevolutionary biology of fungi.


One has to ask how much of the attempt to discredit Quist and Chapela’s research was owing to biotech companies and their proponents, who saw the research as an attack against the commercial naturre of GM-crops. Easy passage for the Bt gene Maize is the most important crop in Mexico. What kind of chapfla did they do and how was their research received?

The site also contains some materials in a number of other languages: Office hours By Appointment. People responded by saying that chaapela is no evidence that this kind of gene shuffling is chhapela is going on, chapelx no-one has looked, no-one has asked these questions before.

Sc physics-mathematics and M. Ecology and evolution in Hypoxylon sensu lato: Since the study that was published in Nature, his work has become more focused on transgene ecology – ie how genes move about in the environment.

Interestingly, a recent view of the webpage does not contain the first two sentences of the above quote; at the end of the text one finds the statement: How many of them? Chappela are the basic questions of ecology: Jgnacio that are based on factual evidence and suggest the negative impact of GM-crops are suppressed in the scientific debate.

It’s evident that the commercial interests of multinational companies are influencing what is supposed to be a scientific discussion. But just as unsettling is the way in which this study and its findings have been handled in the scientific and ignwcio press. GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.

This means that in every village in Mexico has these point sources of potential contamination. Who we are Ignacio Chapela.

In ecology, he is committed to the synecological approach to story-telling, just as he is committed to the local approach to ecological policy-making.