Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10, 000 years ago. PNAS

Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 05/2009; 106(18):7367-72. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900158106
Source: PubMed


The origin of millet from Neolithic China has generally been accepted, but it remains unknown whether common millet (Panicum miliaceum) or foxtail millet (Setaria italica) was the first species domesticated. Nor do we know the timing of their domestication and their routes of dispersal. Here, we report the discovery of husk phytoliths and biomolecular components identifiable solely as common millet from newly excavated storage pits at the Neolithic Cishan site, China, dated to between ca. 10,300 and ca. 8,700 calibrated years before present (cal yr BP). After ca. 8,700 cal yr BP, the grain crops began to contain a small quantity of foxtail millet. Our research reveals that the common millet was the earliest dry farming crop in East Asia, which is probably attributed to its excellent resistance to drought.

Download full-text


Available from: Houyuan Lu, Oct 04, 2015
82 Reads
  • Source
    • "6); 2) a high and significant correlation was obtained for the southwest dispersal (r = 0.372; P < 0.01; fig. 5E); 3) the expansion of lineage B in the Indian subcontinent was much later than in East Asia (table 4), and lineage C was observed in a few samples from the Indian subcontinent; 4) several animal domestications/ early Holocene animal management (e.g., pig, Larson et al. 2010; cattle, Zhang et al. 2013; chicken, Xiang et al. 2014) and crop cultivation events (e.g., millet, Lu et al. 2009; Yang et al. 2012) took place in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River in North China; 5) archeological remains showed an early presence of domestic sheep in Inner Mongolia and northern China during the period of Hongshan Culture (~ 4.2–6.5 ka) (Yang et al. 2015), and archeological sites in Tibet dating to 3.6–5.2 ka are marked by the presence of sheep bones (Chen et al. 2015); and 6) there were several popular ancient trade routes between China and India, by both land (through the Southern Silk Road route and the Tibet–Nepal and Burma–India routes) and sea 3–4 ka (Pe 1959; Shaha 1970). "
    [Show description] [Hide description]
    DESCRIPTION: Our results provide new insights into sheep domestication, particularly with respect to origins and migrations to and from eastern Eurasia.
    • "Panicum miliaceum and S. italica are not among the first domesticated cereals which were grown in the Near East (Zohary et al. 2012). To date, the earliest finds of P. miliaceum and S. italica are from the Cishan site in northeastern China, where phytolith and DNA analyses have helped place P. miliaceum in the middle of the 9th millennium cal BC and S. italica in the middle of the 7th millennium cal BC (Lu et al. 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Having found Setaria italica (foxtail millet) and Panicum miliaceum (broomcorn millet) still being cultivated traditionally in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, we carried out ethnographic interviews with farmers to help us document an agricultural process on the verge of extinction. Crop processing of S. italica and P. miliaceum varies depending on the use of either plant. In Asturias, Setaria italica is harvested while green and used as fodder. In Galicia and in the north of Portugal, P. miliaceum grain is used mainly for human consumption. This distribution of millet in the north of the Iberian Peninsula appears to have been the case in prehistory too, although this will need to be confirmed by future research.
    Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 07/2015; 24(4):541-554. DOI:10.1007/s00334-015-0518-y · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "and crop cultivation events (e.g., millet, Lu et al. 2009; Yang et al. 2012) took place in the middle and lower reaches of the "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite much attention, history of sheep (Ovis aries) evolution, including its dating, demographic trajectory and geographic spread, remain controversial. To address these questions, we generated 45 complete and 875 partial mitogenomic sequences, and performed a meta-analysis of these and published ovine mitochondrial sequences (n = 3,229) across Eurasia. We inferred that O. orientalis and O. musimon share the most recent female ancestor with O. aries at c. 0.790 ma (95% CI: 0.637-0.934 ma) during the Middle Pleistocene, substantially predating the domestication event (c. 8-11 ka). By reconstructing historical variations in effective population size, we found evidence of a rapid population increase c. 20-60 ka, immediately before the Last Glacial Maximum. Analyses of lineage expansions showed two sheep migratory waves at c. 4.5-6.8 ka (lineages A and B: ~6.4-6.8 ka; C: ~4.5 ka) across eastern Eurasia, which could have been influenced by prehistoric West-East commercial trade and deliberate mating of domestic and wild sheep, respectively. A continental-scale examination of lineage diversity and approximate Bayesian computation analyses indicated the Mongolian Plateau region was a secondary center of dispersal, acting as a "transportation hub" in eastern Eurasia: sheep from the Middle Eastern domestication center were inferred to have migrated through the Caucasus and Central Asia, and arrived in North and Southwest China (lineages A, B and C) and the Indian Subcontinent (lineages B and C) via this region. Our results provide new insights into sheep domestication, particularly with respect to origins and migrations to and from eastern Eurasia. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 06/2015; DOI:10.1093/molbev/msv139 · 9.11 Impact Factor
Show more