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María Daniela Mares-Quiñones and Juan Ignacio Valiente-Banuet

further work is still needed to complete their domestication ( Maiti et al., 1994 ; Murillo-Amador et al., 2015 ). The production of piquin peppers under cultivated conditions represents an opportunity for economic and social development of rural

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James Nienhuis

An enigma in the process of domestication of many of our common vegetables is what they looked like and the speed of the process at which they were transformed from the wild progenitors to the modern cultivars. Many vegetables were either domesticated in antiquity or introduced into Europe, often by trade with Africa, the Middle East, or the Americas. Based on genetic information, we often know or can deduce center of origin and the progenitor species of our common vegetables, but we do not have a record of their early history once introduced into Europe. One window to the process of domestication of vegetables is still life art from the Renaissance period. The emphasis of the art form “natura morta” emphasized realism, which allows us to, in some cases, identify species and market classes based on accurate morphological details.

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Marissa Moses and Pathmanathan Umaharan

reference to the fruit’s pungency ( Weiss, 2002 ). Capsicum (Solanaceae family) consists of 33 accepted wild species and five domesticated species ( U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012 ): C. annuum (chile and sweet pepper types), C. chinense (habanero

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Chad E. Finn, Jorge B. Retamales, Gustavo A. Lobos, and James F. Hancock

The cultivated strawberry of South America, the octoploid Fragaria chiloensis, has a long and interesting history. Although the origin of the species in Chile has not been completely determined, it may have been introduced from North America by birds. After making landfall in Chile, the species spread from the coast into the mountains eventually developing four biotypes. At least two native peoples, the Mapuche, between Rio Bío-Bío and south–central Chile, and the Picunche, between Rio Itata and Rio Bío-Bío, began the domestication process. Although white- and red-fruited forms were domesticated, the white form (likely because of its fruit size) may have been preferred because the red-fruited types are not mentioned as frequently in the literature. At the time of the Spanish invasion of Chile, F. chiloensis was widely grown in small garden plots. Under the Spanish rule, larger plantings, first of 1 to 2 ha and later of many hectares, were grown. As the Spanish continued their exploration and conquest of South America, they carried F. chiloensis with them up the western coast to Perú and Ecuador. For many years these scattered plantings were the source of fresh fruit for the burgeoning human populations. The cultivated F. ×ananassa was introduced in Chile ≈1830 but F. chiloensis was still preferentially grown. In the early 1900s, a large canning industry emerged serving hundreds of acres of F. chiloensis. By the 1950s, F. ×ananassa began to predominate and the rise in importance of the University of California and European-developed cultivars displaced much of the traditional F. chiloensis production. An increased awareness of this vast native Chilean genetic resource arose in the 1980s and 1990s. Scientists at the Universidad de Talca, associated with USDA-ARS Plant Exploration Office-sponsored trips to Chile, and with El Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias–Cauquenes in Chile have collected and characterized germplasm that represents not only tremendous diversity, but captures many of the land races that have been developed. This germplasm has been used in small commercial plantings (0.1 to 0.3 ha) and in breeding programs to further develop F. chiloensis commercial cultivars. A small but vibrant community of small growers, particularly in Chile and Ecuador, produce the land races for commercial sale in local markets. Approximately 30 to 40 ha of open-field plantings are cultivated in Chile with yields averaging ≈3 to 4 tons/ha. The selected F. chiloensis genotypes and collected clones from the wild have served as a valuable source of germplasm in modern breeding programs and the development of new cultivars with the white color and aromatic flavor typical of some of the traditional selections well underway.

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Kelly M. Anon and Richard Craig

Interspecific hybrids of Exacum species (Gentianaceae) endemic to Sri Lanka possess excellent qualities for domestication as a new floriculture crop. The exact mode of floral induction and development responses are unknown, impeding the introduction of this potential crop. The interspecific hybrids evaluated are the result of controlled cross pollinations of E. macranthum. Arn. ex Griseb., E. trinervium (L.) Druce ssp. trinervium, and E. trinervium ssp. ritigalensis. (Willis) Cramer. The hybrids exhibit great genetic variability for horticultural traits. In addition, two growth and flowering patterns exist within the Penn State germplasm. Continuous-flowering genotypes flower throughout the year but more profusely and rapidly under late spring and summer conditions. In contrast, periodic-flowering genotypes exhibit two distinct seasonal habits. Under winter conditions, these accessions have a rosetted habit, much secondary branching, and few or no flowers. In summer conditions, they break their apical dominance, bolt, and produce flowers. As members of the Gentianaceae, Exacum hybrids produce an elegant blue flower with a striking yellow eye and bottle-shaped anthers. We evaluated the growth and flowering responses of Exacum interspecific hybrid accessions to photoperiod and irradiance. Accessions were evaluated under greenhouse conditions for floral production, rate of floral development, and growth characteristics. For the 20 accessions evaluated, supplemental irradiance under winter conditions resulted in greater floral production and much greater shoot and root mass accumulation. Little height and branching response occurred with supplemental irradiance. Of the 15 accessions evaluated under four photoperiod regimes, flowering and growth responses to photoperiod occurred under summer conditions but not in winter. An interaction among season, accession, and photoperiod revealed the complexity of Exacum germplasm and environmental responses.

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Sara Melito, Angela Fadda, Emma Rapposelli, and Maurizio Mulas

domestication program has been carried out with the aim to supply to both the liqueur and pharmaceutical industries raw material with known characteristics and to preserve the natural populations ( Mulas and Deidda, 1998 ; Mulas and Cani, 1999 ). With these

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Robert F. Bevacqua

Navigators from Southeast Asia began voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean four thousand years ago that resulted in the dispersal of an assemblage of domesticated plants that has come to dominate horticulture in the world's tropical regions. Archaeological, botanical, and linguistic evidence indicates the assemblage included coconut, banana, taro, yam, sugar cane, and other important food and fiber crops. An emerging view among scholars is that an origin of horticulture is associated with early Chinese civilization and that Southeast Asia was a center for the domestication of vegetatively propagated root, tuber, and fruit crops. This paper describes (1) an origin for horticulture in Southeast Asia, (2) the eastward dispersal of horticultural plants by voyagers, and (3) the impact of the introduction of horticulture on the natural enviroment of the Pacific Islands.

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R. Neal Peterson

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a new crop in the early stages of domestication. Recently commercialization has become feasible with the availability of high quality varieties. The history of pawpaw varieties is divided into three periods: 1900-50, 1950-85, and 1985 to the present. The history before 1985 was concerned primarily with the discovery of superior selections from the wild but experienced a serious break in continuity around 1950. The third period has been characterized by greater developmental activity. Larger breeding programs have been pursued, regional variety trials initiated, a germplasm repository established, and a formal research program at Kentucky State University (KSU) instituted. Future breeding will likely rely on dedicated amateurs with the education and means to conduct a 20-year project involving the evaluation of hundreds of trees. For the foreseeable future, governments and universities will not engage in long-term pawpaw breeding.

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Li Li, Xiaohong Yao, Caihong Zhong, Xuzhong Chen, and Hongwen Huang

economically important Akebia species and discusses the value of exploring these species for domestication and commercial development. Taxonomy and Geographical Distribution Akebia is a small genus belonging to the Lardizabalaceae and comprises four

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D.T. Lindgren

There has been a large increase in the use of native herbaceous prairie plants for ornamental purposes. They are also being used for cut flowers, medicinal purposes, and in restoration projects. To discuss the subject of breeding and selecting herbaceous plants for landscaping, it is convenient to divide the topic into three areas of interest: 1) selecting native ecotypes for use on specific sites; 2) selecting and breeding for nonnative/native plants for wildflower mixes; and 3) selecting, breeding and developing specific individual plants for ornamental/garden use. Native plant traits that are being evaluated at the Univ. of Nebraska West Central Center include competitiveness, pest tolerance, regional adaptation, flowering characteristics, foliage characteristics, proportionality of plants, ease of propagation, ease of establishment, and moisture requirements. In addition, research is being conducted at the West Central Center regarding genetic variation. For example, Dalea purpureum varies in height, foliage color, stems per plant, stem lodging, and time of flowering. Similar variation has been documented in Lithospermum, Calylophus, Penstemon, Liatris, and Echinacea, to name a few. Botanically, genetic variation has been documented within many native herbaceous species. However, plant breeders have done very little with these variations in genotypes, thus allowing considerable opportunity for breeding research with native herbaceous plants.