Purugganan MD, Fuller DQ. The nature of selection during plant domestication. Nature 457: 843-848

Department of Biology and Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, 100 Washington Square East, New York University, New York 10003, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 03/2009; 457(7231):843-8. DOI: 10.1038/nature07895
Source: PubMed


Plant domestication is an outstanding example of plant-animal co-evolution and is a far richer model for studying evolution than is generally appreciated. There have been numerous studies to identify genes associated with domestication, and archaeological work has provided a clear understanding of the dynamics of human cultivation practices during the Neolithic period. Together, these have provided a better understanding of the selective pressures that accompany crop domestication, and they demonstrate that a synthesis from the twin vantage points of genetics and archaeology can expand our understanding of the nature of evolutionary selection that accompanies domestication.

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Available from: Dorian Q Fuller
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    • "During the Neolithic Revolution , the combination of herding and agriculture stimulated a rapid increase in human population size, which in turn spurred human migration from the centers of origin to their surroundings (Bocquet-Appel, 2011; Diamond, 2002; Diamond and Bellwood, 2003; Gignoux et al., 2011). This transition took place in a limited number of geographic regions across the globe, in the form of multiple, independent events (Purugganan and Fuller, 2009, 2011). Most livestock domestication occurred in Southwest Asia and East Asia around 11,000–8000 years BP and later in the Americas about 4500 years BP. "
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    ABSTRACT: Domestic pigs were a key component of the Neolithic Revolution because of their great relevance to farming. Zoo-archaeological evidences suggest that Sus scrofa was domesticated in the Fertile Crescent about 10,500years BP. From that moment, early Neolithic farmers spread domestic pigs westward into Europe. Yet, once domesticated, European pigs rapidly replaced pigs of Near Eastern origin throughout Europe. A temporal distribution change between European mitochondrial DNA haplotypes (A-side and C-side) also occurred: the A-side haplotype increased in domestic remains from the Neolithic to the Roman Age in Europe, at the expense of C-side individuals. This same pattern is absent in non-domestic settings. We jointly analyzed (modern) wild boar morphology and mitochondrial DNA, seeking out morphological differences between A- and C- side types. Our results show that A-side wild boars are significantly larger than C-sides, irrespective of sex, age, and reproductive stage. This suggests that the increased frequency of A-side individuals in domestic samples through time might be the direct result of active selection by early breeders for their fast growth rate.
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    • "Understanding the processes of plant domestication and dispersion is necessary to fully comprehend human-plant co-evolution (Rindos and Dunnel 1984; Jackson 1996; Purugganan and Fuller 2009, 2011). In particular, the domestication of grasses (Poaceae) has had a major impact on human history, ultimately giving rise to current human cultures (Diamond 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. (foxtail millet) was originally domesticated in northern China. The time and route of its introduction into South Asia is currently unclear due to the possible confusion with autochthonous Brachiaria ramosa (L.) Stapf. (browntop millet). Geometric morphometrics (GM) offer an alternative to traditional archaeobotanical methods to distinguish between these two small millet species. This study aims at finding a method to securely distinguish among charred caryopses of S. italica and B. ramosa, testing its validity on archaeobotanical assemblages and proposing a new approach for studying the dispersion of S. italica throughout Eurasia. Modern S. italica (n = 35) and B. ramosa (n = 34) caryopses and 15 archaeological specimens from a 5th millennium BP archaeological occupation site in northwestern India were analysed. Archaeological and modern caryopses (before and after charring) were photographed with a Leica EZ4D stereoscope, and TPSdig software was used to scale the photographs and manually apply a configuration of three landmarks and six semi-landmarks onto the contours of the embryos. Multivariate statistics were carried out to analyse the shape differences between modern S. italica and B. ramosa and to classify the archaeological specimens. The results show that the shape of the embryo of both species can be clearly distinguished using a GM-approach, both before and after charring. However, charring tends to smooth the shape differences between the two groups, which may affect the interpretation of archaeobotanical assemblages. The comparison between modern and archaeological caryopses suggests that S. italica was not present in northwestern India during the 5th millennium BP.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
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    • "Also known as the biological value of food, bioaccessibility (sometimes referred to as bioavailability) is normally expressed as a ratio or percentage of nutrition absorbed versus consumed and is descriptive beyond nutritional composition because it accounts for digestible and indigestible constituents. Applying this metric to nutritional ecology in anthropology is important because Plio–Pleistocene hominins survived on wild foods, which have not undergone artificial selection for nutritional content and digestibility (Johns, 1996; Purugganan and Fuller, 2009). Wild plants may be especially problematic because natural selection would favor plants that resist consumers, if they do not facilitate reproduction and dispersal, either through physical or chemical barriers (Johns, 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Bioaccessibility is a useful measure for assessing the biological value of a particular nutrient from food, especially foods such as tubers. The wild tubers exploited by Hadza foragers in Tanzania are of interest because they are nontoxic, consumed raw or briefly roasted, and entail substantial physical barriers to consumers. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the biological value of Hadza tubers by measuring the absorption of glucose through in-vitro digestion. Methods We quantified digestibility using data from 24 experimental trials on four species of Hadza tuber using a dynamic in-vitro model that replicates digestion in the stomach and small intestine. Analysis of glucose in the input meal and output dialysate revealed the accessible glucose fraction. We also conducted assays for protein, vitamin, and mineral content on whole tubers and meal fractions. Results Bioaccessibility of glucose varies depending on tuber species. Holding effects of chewing constant, brief roasting had negligible effects, but high intraspecific variation precludes interpretive power. Overall, Hadza tubers are very resistant to digestion, with between one- and two-thirds of glucose absorbed on average. Glucose absorption negatively correlated with glucose concentration of the tubers. Conclusions Roasting may provide other benefits such as ease of peeling and chewing to extract edible parenchymatous tissue. A powerful factor in glucose acquisition is tuber quality, placing emphasis on the skill of the forager. Other nutrient assays yielded unexpectedly high values for protein, iron, and iodine, making tubers potentially valuable resources beyond caloric content.
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