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Abstract Detail


Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants

Dempewolf, Hannes [1], Rieseberg, Loren H. [1], Cronk, Quentin [2].

The 'domestication index': assessing levels of domestication in the Compositae.

To assess crop domestication levels in the Compositae, we developed an index that categorizes taxa according to the strength of domestication. We attempted to do so by employing a range of different factors that we believe are good indicators. We are not trying to deliver quantifiable degrees of domestication with this simplified scheme, but rather try to give an indication of how crops could be categorised according to some basic indicators, such as (1) strength of phenotypic differentiation; (2) extent of cultivation; (3) length of history of cultivation; (4) presence of major genetic alterations; and (5) improvement through major breeding. Under this scheme, the Compositae accommodate five strongly domesticated species: safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), endive (Cichorium endivia), chicory (Cichorium intybus), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa); an additional five semidomesticated taxa: cardoon (Cynara cardunculus var. altilis); globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus), noug (Guizotia abyssinica), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), and yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius); as well as numerous useful species that exhibit no or only a weak domestication syndrome. We observe that most species that show strong signs of domestication are food crops or ornamentals. Signs of domestication are weak or absent in Compositae species of medicinal or industrial value. Furthermore, some crop taxa from other families such as Poaceae, Solanaceae and Fabaceae are also being categorized to explore how this index could apply to other angiosperm families as well. Finally we discuss ways in which this domestication index could be extended to a more quantifiable domestication scale.


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1 - University of British Columbia, Department of Botany, 3529-6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
2 - University of British Columbia, Botanical Garden And Centre For Plant Research, 6804 Sw Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Keywords:
domestication
Compositae
crop evolution.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 63
Location: 157/Law
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 63001
Abstract ID:541


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