longicuspis and Allium tuncelianum
have long been regarded as the wild ancestors
of modern garlic. Both are widely distributed
throughout Turkey and A. tuncelianum
is of particular interest as it is a fully fertile
species. Both A. tuncelianum and A.
longicuspis smell of garlic when crushed
and are used locally as a substitute for the
modern cultivated forms of A. sativum.
genetic research by Meryem
Ipek and Philipp Simon has suggested that
A. sativum and A. longicuspis
should no longer be considered as genetically
distinct and Brian Mathew, in his book A
Review of Allium section Allium, puts
forward the possibility that A. tuncelianum
is the wild ancestor of both A. longicuspis
and A. sativum. A. tuncelianum is endemic to the
region of Tunceli in central Turkey and is
collected and consumed locally.
The continued collection from the wild has
led to concerns about its survival as a wild
species and as a result, the United Nations
Development Programme awarded a small grant
to the Accessible Life Association (UYD) who
used the money to determine the cultivation
conditions of the plant as well as market
suitability, size and feasibility.
project brought together some of the
poorest farmers in the most underdeveloped
Turkey with the aim of making them aware
of the global importance of the plant
and the need
to protect it. It was hoped that small-scale
cultivation would not only help to preserve
the plant in the wild but might also
the development of a new cash crop for
The cultivation trials were carried out both
in laboratory conditions and on a piece of land
bought by 120 local farmers and were successfully
completed in October 2003.
is now thought that MRSA causes an estimated
2,000 deaths in UK hospitals each year mainly
through secondary infection of surgical wounds.
Though MRSA organisms can live harmlessly in
humans and are carried in the nasal passages
and on the skin, they can cause fatal infection
in immunologically-suppressed patients, the
elderly, the young and those with surgical implants.
Doctors have become increasingly alarmed over
the past few months by the emergence in UK hospitals
of new generations of resistant strains of MRSA
known as VISAs, and GISAs (Vancomycin or Glycopeptide
resistant Staphylococcus aureus). MRSA
has also become endemic in many hospitals, especially
in London and the South-East, prompting the
NHS to review its hygiene procedures.