Abstract Detail



Darwins’ reversals: What we now know about Feralization and Crop Wild Relatives

Mabry, Makenzie [1], McAlvay, Alex C. [2].

Darwins’ reversals: What we now know about Feralization and Crop Wild Relatives.

Although Nikolai Vavilov recognized the potential of crop wild relatives in the early 1900s, feral populations of crops, those that have escaped from fields and successfully established, have been historically underappreciated. Due to their physical appearance looking more similar to wild relatives than domesticates, these fascinating populations of plants have, throughout literature, been misidentified as wild progenitor species. While Darwin noted these populations as early as 1868, he also questioned how frequently these populations arose, a question not yet addressed. However, with genomic advances, we are now able to successfully identify and tease these populations apart as feral relatives of crops. These populations, beyond having interesting evolutionary trajectories, provide opportunities to identify variants that might be valuable for targeted modifications for crops. Feral populations, once no longer under cultivation, are only successful by adapting to their local environment, therefore feral populations provide the opportunity to identify variants that might be valuable for targeted modifications that would enable crops to be more locally adapted. The importance of local adaptation has long been recognized and is a theme with enhanced urgency in producing the next generation of crops. However, these crucial genetic resources are threatened by human activities, including climate change, habitat destruction, and land use changes.


1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History
2 - New York Botanical Garden

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number:
Abstract ID:8
Candidate for Awards:None


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