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Threshing efficiency and domestication of emmer wheat

Threshing efficiency and domestication of emmer wheat
Threshing efficiency and domestication of emmer wheat

Harvesting method has long been recognized as an important factor in the emergence of domesticated cereal genotypes, but post-harvet processing has received little attention. Tzarfati et al. quantify the effects of spike brittleness and threshability (both major domestication traits) upon threshing time and efficiency in a diverse range of tetraploid wheat genotypes, including emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) and modern cultivars of durum wheat (T. turgidum ssp. durum). They find that both non-brittleness and increased threshability are significant labour-saving traits that increase the efficiency of post-harvest processing, which could have been an incentive for rapid domestication of the Near Eastern cereals.

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