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: 9.81). 05/2009; 106(18):7367-72. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900158106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

    • "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). "
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    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.
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    • "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 "
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    • "t al . , 2002 ; Park et al . , 2014 ; Zhang et al . , 2014 ) . There may be additional untapped phyto - chemical value as indicated by a wide range of genotype - specific grain colors ( Zhang et al . , 2014 ) . Proso millet is well - adapted to dry sandy soils , and might be the earliest dryland - farming crop in East Asia ( Baltensperger , 2002 ; Lu et al . , 2009 ) . It may have the lowest water requirement of any cereal , able to produce harvestable grain with only 330 – 350 mm of annual rainfall ( Baltensperger , 2002 ; Seghatoleslami et al . , 2008 ; Hunt et al . , 2011 ) . Proso millet matures quickly within 60 – 90 days , a feature that contributes to its drought resistance and also makes i"
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