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Abstract Detail


Meyer, Rachel [1], Nee, M. [2], Litt, Amy [3].

The history of eggplant domestication: phylogeographic relationships among candidate progenitors and Asian heirloom varieties.

Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is currently hypothesized to have been domesticated in the Indo-Philippine region, an exceedingly broad stretch of territory. Within this region, there are two competing hypotheses for the center of origin: India and Southeast Asia. Both regions have equally old written records of eggplant use for food and medicine dating back approximately 2000 years. Proponents of the hypothesis that eggplant was domesticated in India maintain that S. incanum L., native to Africa, was carried by man throughout Southeast Asia where it diversified into many different "forms". One semi-domesticated form was brought back to India and fully domesticated. In contrast, proponents of a Southeast Asian origin suggest that S. undatum Lam., a putatively wild species native to that region, was domesticated in situ to produce S. melongena. To date sequence data have been unable to resolve the relationship among S. undatum, S. incanum and S. melongena. Here, molecular sequence data from additional loci (ITS and CRYPTOCHROME1a introns) and AFLP were used to evaluate the relationships among a sample set of 100 accessions representing all candidate progenitors and diverse heirloom cultivars from the entire Indo-Philippine region. This sample set is composed of germplasm from historic collections (INRA), the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, the USDA GRIN, heirloom seed companies, and collections from fieldwork in Southeast Asia. Preliminary analyses have revealed a high number of mis-identified specimens in some of these collections, thus we are updating these databases. Studying sequence datasets and AFLP datasets side-by-side reveals an intricate relationship between geographic regions in the history of eggplant domestication, and also detects enough genetic diversity to test hypotheses about the relationship between traditional cultivars, candidate progenitors, and related species.

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1 - City University of New York, Graduate Center / New York Botanical Gard, Biology, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, USA
2 - New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, 200Th Street & Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York, 10458-5126, USA
3 - The New York Botanical Garden, 200th St and Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 21
Location: Cottonwood B/Snowbird Center
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: 21015
Abstract ID:587