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Did the first farmers deliberately domesticate wild plants? [Evolution Letters Blogs]

Study with Benoît Pujol

by Frédéric Magné - published on

A new study published in Evolution Letters, available now via Early View, has given us an interesting insight into the history of crop domestication. The work, by researchers at The University of Sheffield, UK, and the University of Toulouse, France, shows that seed enlargement probably evolved without the deliberate intention of early crop farmers. Humans have been artificially selecting for specific traits in domestic plants and animals for hundreds of years, selecting only the best individuals to breed and rejecting those with undesirable traits. However, this study shows that during the course of domestication, unintended changes have also occurred with dramatic effects.(...)

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