Journal: Nature Communications
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Revising the family tree of vegetables
© by Piotr Jaczewski/Getty
A new genetic analysis has overturned the accepted theory for the origins of three commercially important vegetables.
The vegetables we eat today are harvested from domesticated versions of wild plants. Due to centuries of breeding, cultivated plants have considerably narrower gene pools than their wild cousins. A knowledge of their family history would allow plant geneticists to improve vegetables by incorporating more suitable genes from wild plants.
Now, a team co-led by Huazhong Agricultural University researchers has done a genetic analysis of rutabaga, canola and Siberian kale and discovered that — contrary to prior theories — these vegetables do not have separate origins. The analysis results suggest a much more complex genetic history than previously thought.
This revised genetic history will help plant scientists to identify genes that could be used to enhance the traits of crops.
- Nature Communications 10, 2878 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10757-1