University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > Crop pioneers across Eurasia: insights from phylogeographic analysis using SSRs

Crop pioneers across Eurasia: insights from phylogeographic analysis using SSRs

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The greatest research investment in crop plants focuses on the three species that have the highest global economic importance today: wheat, rice and maize. This is true not only for research in biology and genetics, but also in the history and domestication of cultivated plants. However, there is increasing interest in a number of ‘neglected crops’. These crops have the potential both to expand the depth and geographical breadth of our understanding of prehistoric agriculture, a development that transformed human-plant relations, and address food security challenges in the future through their potential for developing more ecologically robust cultivation systems.

Phylogeographic analysis complements archaeobotanical work to trace the evolution and spread of domesticated plants. This talk presents genetic results on two of the earliest crops that crossed the ecologically-challenging Eurasian steppe region, providing genetic signatures of cross-continental cereal highways that anticipate the Silk Roads by several thousand years.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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