- Phenotypic evolution of agricultural crops. Plants have evolved to become bigger, less able to run away, and more delicious to herbivores, and breeders can use insights into that domestication process to develop an ideotype for multipurpose crops adapted to sustainable agriculture.
- The taming of the weed: Developmental plasticity facilitated plant domestication. The authors made plants less lazy, more attractive, and easier to cook — all by simply hanging out with them for a season or two. And so did early farmers.
- Revisiting the concept of the ‘Neolithic Founder Crops’ in southwest Asia. The earliest farmers in the Fertile Crescent did not do the above for just a single, standard basket of 8 crops.
- The Fits and Starts of Indian Rice Domestication: How the Movement of Rice Across Northwest India Impacted Domestication Pathways and Agricultural Stories. Rice began to be cultivated in India in the Ganges valley, moved in a semi-cultivated state to the Indus, got fully domesticated there, then met Chinese rice. No word on what else was in the basket.
- Analysis of Domestication Loci in Wild Rice Populations. Australian populations of wild rice have never been anywhere near cultivated rice, but could easily be domesticated.
- Selection and adaptive introgression guided the complex evolutionary history of the European common bean. The first introductions were from the Andean genepool, but then there was introgression from that into the Mesoamerican, and both spread around Europe. A bit like Indian meeting Chinese rice?
- Ancient DNA from a lost Negev Highlands desert grape reveals a Late Antiquity wine lineage. One thousand year old grape pits from the southern Levant can be linked to a number of modern cultivars, which could therefore be adapted to drier, hotter conditions.
- Direct evidence of the use of multiple drugs in Bronze Age Menorca (Western Mediterranean) from human hair analysis. There was probably not a single package of drug plants either.
One Reply to “Brainfood: Domestication syndrome, Plasticity & domestication, Founder package, Rice domestication, Aussie wild rice, European beans, Old wine, Bronze Age drugs”
Some great references on crop evolution, thanks.