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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For this we used a technique called PCR, which is widely used to amplify the DNA of interest into sufficient quantities to identify and analyse it.

My professor Ignacio Chapela had been serving as a scientific director for four indigenous communities which had banded together to manage their natural resources. This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Until now an international consensus has held that the areas of origin of domesticated plants must be protected from exposure to GM-crops in order to preserve this rich genetic heritage for the future.

He continued research on a number of areas of fungal ecology through the s, as a visiting scholar at various research institutions, private companies, and NGOsfinally settling at UC Berkeley, where he has been on the faculty the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management ESPM since With this manuscript we establish several new concepts in the field of coevolutionary biology of fungi. This is what occupies my mind — day and night.

I had been working with them on another project, but would also help them with technical workshops. It is unfortunate that the debate became so politicised and the real issue was discredited because of some disagreements over the interpretation of the I-PCR data. A year and a half on from the publication of your paper in Nature, what is your perspective on why there was such a strong reaction to this paper?

The first explanation seems the most likely: California Monthly February issue. It’s evident that the commercial interests of multinational companies are influencing what is supposed to be a scientific discussion.

GRAIN — with David Quist – The Mexican Maize scandal

Quist, David and Ignacio Chapela This is a clear confirmation of Quist and Chapela’s research. Graduate student Joan Dudney discusses surveying whitebark pine in the Sierras, and if the species will soon be lis… https: He has worked on the symbiosis between leafcutter ants and their cultivated fungi. We worked out a sampling protocol, did the DNA extraction and ran the analysis. What we are seeing more and more is that the chapelx of substantiating facts is overriding science as a process, which is all about questioning and re-examining our assumptions, in order to lead us to a better understanding chaela reality.


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 But not at all. This kind of approach is a disservice to science. Since then, they have done a much more expansive study in terms of sampling and techniques. Jgnacio available at http: Would its foundations be compromised by the use of GM-corn and the loss of maize that is embedded in the local ecology and in the hearts of the people?

Two of the three referees nnature that they did not challenge the main conclusions of our paper, but suggested writing a correction to part of it.

Chapela is reported to have stated in response to the study, “It is good to see this Few Californians are aware of the path that water takes to reach their taps. That would mean the unwieldy and multifarious collection of life forms we call fungi.

The way that the debates are framed and the inability of corporate science to re-examine its paradigms are compromising good science. Perhaps the greatest advantage of viral marketing is that your naure is placed into a context where it is more likely to be considered seriously. Bivings, it turned out, has a strategy it calls “viral marketing.

The grant went into effect in People have reacted defensively: This page was last edited on 30 Decemberat We wanted, and expected, a strong reaction, but not in the way it came. The United States would have to make seed segregation mandatory so that it could guarantee to Mexico that it was receiving only nonGM-corn.


Growth-dependent stable carbon isotope fractionation by basidiomycete fungi: We needed a transgenic-negative control, and what better place than the highlands of Oaxaca, the birthplace of maize? One argued that the results were already common knowledge!

Ignacio CHAPELA | Our Environment at Berkeley

So the local production of corn in Mexico is not only threatened by foreign genes, but also by the economic practices of a government that loudly preaches free trade while subsidizing its own industries to undermine local economies in foreign natjre. For traditional ecologists, there was no question about the identity of the organism at stake: One has to ask how much of the attempt to discredit Quist and Chapela’s ognacio was owing to chhapela companies and their proponents, who saw the research as an attack against the commercial cultivation of GM-crops.

A mycologist by training someone who studies fungushe made the discovery about the contamination of maize varieties in Mexico quite by chance. Transgene ecology is a fledgling field. The consequence has been an exceptional public attention and media coverage for the story.

Ignacio Chapela

Office hours By Appointment. See the letters and editorial note in the April 11, issue of Naturepp. In the first round, samples were taken from 22 communities in Pueblo in Mexico, 15 of which tested positive using the same PCR technique that we used.

We were suggesting that it is unstable, which infuriated the pro-biotech community. Indeed, my desire to gain closer precision on techniques used in this paper spawned a new line of research in the microbial processing of stable C isotopes in my laboratory and elsewhere in the world.

Naturw paper which, despite simple statements, has acquired much notoriety even before its publication.

We also provide a solid grounding for a revaluation of nomenclature within this important group, which has remained elusive for analyses based only on morphological and histochemical methods.