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- From Crop Domestication to Super-domestication

From Crop Domestication to Super-domestication

D. A. Vaughan1,*, E. Balázs2 and J. S. Heslop-Harrison3

1 National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Kannondai 2–1–2, Tsukuba 305-8602, Ibaraki, Japan
2 Agriculture Research Institute, Department of Applied Genomics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Brunszvik u2, Martonvasar 2462, Hungary
3 Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK


An open access article from Annals of Botany 2007 100(5):893-901. 



Research related to crop domestication has been transformedby technologies and discoveries in the genome sciences as wellas information-related sciences that are providing new toolsfor bioinformatics and systems' biology. Rapid progress in archaeobotanyand ethnobotany are also contributing new knowledge to understandingcrop domestication. This sense of rapid progress is encapsulatedin this Special Issue, which contains 18 papers by scientistsin botanical, crop sciences and related disciplines on the topicof crop domestication. One paper focuses on current themes inthe genetics of crop domestication across crops, whereas otherpapers have a crop or geographic focus. One feature of progressin the sciences related to crop domestication is the availabilityof well-characterized germplasm resources in the global networkof genetic resources centres (genebanks). Germplasm in genebanksis providing research materials for understanding domesticationas well as for plant breeding. In this review, we highlightcurrent genetic themes related to crop domestication. Impressiveprogress in this field in recent years is transforming plantbreeding into crop engineering to meet the human need for increasedcrop yield with the minimum environmental impact – weconsider this to be ‘super-domestication’. Whilethe time scale of domestication of 10 000 years or less is avery short evolutionary time span, the details emerging of whathas happened and what is happening provide a window to see wheredomestication might – and can – advance in the future.


Key words: Evolution, gene cloning, gene pyramiding, gene duplication, marker assisted selection, QTL, crop wild relatives


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