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Independent origins of cultivated coconuts (Cocos nucifera L.) and human explorations in the old world tropics

Gunn B.F., Baudouin L., Olsen K.M.. 2009. In : by Pierre Gustafon (ed.). Proceedings of the 9th International Plant Molecular Biology Congress, October 25-30, 2009, St Louis, USA. Lancaster : DEStech Publications, p. 333-333. IPMB Congress. 9, 2009-10-25/2009-10-30, St Louis (Etats-Unis).

The coconut Cocos nucifera L. encapsulates the history of humanity in the humid tropics and its usefulness has enabled mankind to colonize islands and create trade routes across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Here we investigated the origin(s) of domestication of the coconut using multi-loci microsatellites for 1,322 coconut accessions and traced the ancient Austronesian migrations to Madagascar about 3,500 years ago. Population differentiation analyses (STRUCTURE) estimated two distinct clusters: the first containing coconuts from the Pacific and the second cluster comprised those from the Indo-Atlantic. We hypothesize two centers of domestication for the coconut: island South East Asia and coastal India. Comparisons of allele frequencies indicate that the Malagasy coconuts belong to the Indo-Atlantic (B2 group) and share genetic history with those of the Pacific (Group A). This novel finding, confirms the Austronesian linguistic link of the Malagasy name 'voanio' and the Polynesia name 'niu' for the coconut.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; madagascar; inde; asie du sud-est

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