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Biomolecular evidence for plant domestication in Sahul

Lebot V.. 1999. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 46 : p. 619-628.

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008748504038

The question of the introduction of domesticated plants from the Sunda plate (South-east Asia) to Sahul (New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania) has been a subject of speculation and debate for decades. This paper reviews recent phylogenetic studies conducted with biomolecular markers on bananas (Musa spp.), breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), taro (Colocasia esculenta) and the greater yam (Dioscorea alata). Biomolecular evidence for plant domestication in Sahul is presented and discussed. Biomolecular markers reveal that for these crops at least, domestication has occurred in New Guinea and further east in Melanesia. This domestication produced cultivated genotypes that were selected from the endemic wild gene pools. These areas of domestication still are important centres of diversity for crop species that also exist in Asia. For most crops, genetic distances are very important between the two gene pools due to the geographic isolation of the two continental plates. The implications of these findings have obvious bearings on genetic resources programme strategies and future surveys.

Mots-clés : domestication; phylogénie; musa; artocarpus altilis; saccharum; colocasia esculenta; dioscorea alata; marqueur génétique; génotype; introduction de plantes; ressource génétique; océanie; australie; tasmanie; papouasie-nouvelle-guinée

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