Economic Botany Section
Meyer, Rachel , DuVal, Ashley , Jensen, Helen .
Patterns and dynamic processes in crop domestication: a historical review and quantitative analysis of 203 global food crops.
Crop domestication is accompanied by a suite of morphological, phytochemical, and genetic changes collectively referred to as the domestication syndrome. In addition to providing insights into both plant evolution and human history, knowledge of this process can help optimize crop utilization and inform biodiversity conservation efforts. However, analyses of trends in crop domestication are usually limited to small sample sizes and/or species of major economic importance. Here, we synthesize information from archaeological, genetic, botanical and ethnobotanical sources for 203 major and minor food crops of global distribution to provide a broad reference on domestication, particularly for species for which limited reviews are available. Compiled information includes regions of origin, crop progenitors, domestication dates and syndromes, early and current uses, conservation status, ploidy level, and breeding system. Using this data set, we tested classic and contemporary theories in crop domestication using Logic Forest regression analyses and other statistical approaches. Primary findings reveal that some features of domestication associated with model crops and particularly grasses, such as change in ploidy level, loss of shattering and transition from outcrossing to inbreeding, are exceptions within a broader dataset and may distort perceptions of domestication processes. Temporal trends include that the time required to domesticate species has decreased as we move into the present and varies by plant lifespan, and certain aspects of the domestication syndrome are prevalent at different time intervals. Variations in the frequency and nature of domestication over time and across regions highlight the impacts of a wide range of historical, cultural and technological factors and illustrate the dynamic and ongoing nature of domestication.
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1 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458
2 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
3 - McGill University, Biology, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, QC, H3A 1B1, Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM