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  • Wild Zizania latifolia plant
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    Seed characteristic variations and genetic structure of wild Zizania latifolia along a latitudinal gradient in China

    Crop wild relatives are important genetic resources for crop improvement, but they can also be candidates for crop domestication. Zizania latifolia is a perennial aquatic grass which was domesticated as a vegetable crop in China over 1000 years ago but it is currently unestablished as a grain crop. As a close relative to the American wild rice […] More

  • Cover of Tamed
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    Tamed: Ten Species that Changed our World by Alice Roberts

    List books can be good, but there’s a knack to them. Nick Lane’s Life Ascending works because the various features to life he lists come together to build a bigger story. The list is secondary to the story he wanted to tell. At the other end of the scale are 50 Things You Must Know […] More

  • Plant adaptation arises from their morphology, itself a product of evolution and development.
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    Morphology, phylogeny and adaptation

    The study of plant evolution and development in a phylogenetic context has accelerated research advances in both areas over the last decade. The addition of a robust phylogeny for virtually all plant taxa based on DNA as well as morphology has given a strong context for this research. Genetics and genomics, including sequencing of many […] More

  • Results obtained from STRUCTURE for the analysis of the full wild sample (94 individuals)
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    DArT whole genome profiling and evolution of edible banana

    Edible banana varieties underwent a series of bottlenecks during their evolution and domestication, resulting in a number of original genotypes that diversified clonally. Sardos et al. have genotyped more than 500 cultivated bananas and wild relatives using DArT markers. They identified two main genetic clusters in the cultivated genepool of edible diploids that question the […] More

  • Saffron, Crocus sativus and origin label
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    Crocus, saffron-omics and the highest value crop

    Saffron, the stigma of Crocus sativus, is the highest priced agricultural product (often €/$25 or £15 per gram) and a good example of a profitable crop with sustainability, cultural and social values, and high labour demand. I have been discussing –omics studies of the crop – the DNA, RNA, metabolites and secondary products – at […] More

  • A tiny wild tomato next to a massive cultivated tomato.
    in

    Are tomatoes naturally unnatural?

    The news GM Tomatoes are being grown in Canada broke on the BBC late last week. They also opened a comment section which, like comments sections on any news site, is a mix of the thoughtful and bizarre. One common reaction is that the GM tomatoes aren’t natural, and that this matters because there’s an assumption […] More

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    Chromosomes, Crops and Superdomestication

      Chromosomes, Crops and Superdomestication – Pat Heslop-Harrison Malaysia from Pat Heslop-Harrison   Agro-Biotechnology Institute, ABI Serdang Prof J. S. “Pat” Heslop-Harrison, University of Leicester Academic Icon, University of Malaya Chromosomes, Crops and Superdomestication Crop improvement is reliant on the exploitation of new biodiversity and new combinations of diversity. In this seminar presented at the […] More

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    Phenotypic characters of rice landraces reveal independent lineages of short-grain aromatic indica rice

    Crop domestication is a remarkable example of the evolution of wild plants into cultivable forms through human selection. Following the domestication of rice almost 10,000 years ago, ancient farmers selected many rice lineages for diverse agronomic and cultural traits, such as grain size, shape and colour; awn length; pest resistance; and aroma. A recent study […] More

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