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VOA慢速[农业报道]科学家寻找新方法以养活世界不断增长的人口

2015-04-22    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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As the population grows and temperatures rise it will become more difficult to grow enough food for everyone. So, scientists are exploring the planet for plants that do not need as much water as today’s crops. The Mojave Desert in the U.S. state of California is home to some of these plants.

Scientist Heather Rose Kates of the University of Florida is in that desert. She is searching along roads for a plant called the coyote melon.

"We've spotted it here right along the ground. Nice yellow fruits."

Coyote melons are in the same plant family as butternut squash, zucchini and pumpkins. Those vegetables are popular around the world.

Ms. Kates is not collecting the coyote melon for its flavor, which she describes as terrible. She says it contains cucurbitacin which is bitter.

Coyote melon may not taste good, but it can be grown in places that have had little rainfall. The desert where it grows gets just 15 to 20 centimeters of rain per year, or less. Other kinds of squash need at least two and a half centimeters per week to grow.

Scientists are considering combining wild coyote melon with regular squash to see if they can make a tasty vegetable that doesn’t need as much water to grow. That could be useful on a planet growing warmer and more crowded every day.

Andy Jarvis works at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

"The world is facing a real challenge in terms of food security over the next few decades.”

Mr. Jarvis says farmers will need to produce 50 to 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed the world. So, he says, researchers are studying the wild versions of farm-grown crops.

But he says there is a problem. He says many wild versions of farmed plants are disappearing. He says they are threatened and scientists have not collected their seeds for future use.

Scientist Kates is part of an international effort to gather these plants and save their seeds while it is still possible.

Workers are collecting wild oats in Cyprus, wild potatoes in Argentina and wild peppers in Paraguay.

The plants and seeds will be sent for storage to the Global Seed Vault in Norway and at Kew Gardens in Britain.

Ms. Kates spends most of her time in a laboratory. She says gathering plants has helped her understand more about them.

“And it’s really only once you’re out here looking at the wild plants -- which are where our crops came from -- that you get to see what they can do.”

I’m Marsha James.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2014-03-31 


随着人口的增长和温度的升高,种植足够的粮食来养活每一个人变得更加困难。因此,科学家们正在探索存在着不像如今需要许多水分才能存活的植物的星球。在美国加利福尼亚州的Mojave沙漠存在这类植物。

佛罗里达大学的科学家Heather Rose Kates正在该沙漠。她正沿路寻找着一种名叫做狼瓜的植物。

“我们沿着地面在这里发现了它。漂亮的黄色水果。”狼瓜和白胡桃泥,西葫芦和南瓜同属。这些蔬菜在世界上很普遍。

Kates女士不因为它的味道而采集狼瓜,狼瓜的味道也很遭。它含有葫芦素,味道是苦的。

狼瓜不好吃,但它几乎可以在降雨量很小的地方长大。它所生长的沙漠每年只有15到20厘米或者更少的降雨量。其他种类的南瓜属植物每周至少需要2.5厘米的降雨量才能生长。

科学家们正在考虑将野生狼瓜与普通南瓜杂交,看它们是否长成味道可口的蔬菜,且不需要太多的水分来生长。这样它就可以在一个越来越温暖和更加拥挤的星球上派上用场。

Andy Jarvis在国际热带农业中心工作。

“在未来的几十年里,世界正面临一个粮食安全方面的真正挑战。”

Jarvis说在2050前,农民需要生产50%到70%以上的食物来养活全世界。因此他表示,研究人员正在研究农场作物的野生品种。

但他说还有一个问题。许多植物的野生种品种正在消失。它们濒临绝种,科学家们没有采集到供未来使用的种子。

科学家Kates和其他国际工作者一样,也负责收集这些植物和保存其还可使用的种子。

工人们正在收集塞浦路斯的野生燕麦,巴拉圭的野生土豆和阿根廷的野生辣椒。

这些植物和种子将被保存在挪威的全球种子库和英国的皇家植物园。

Kates女士花费了大部分时间在实验室。她表示采集植物已使她有了更多的了解。

“你在这儿看到野生植物真的只有一次——我们的庄稼便来源于此

——你看到它们能用来做什么。”

我是Marsha James。



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