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Other Talks in the Series: Agricultural Genetics

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DR. DUNCAN VAUGHAN: Welcome to the seminar on plant domestication. My name is Duncan Vaughan, and I have spent much of my career conducting research on issues related to the domestication of plants, particularly the beans of Asia and rice. The foundation of human society is based on food. It was changing some unpromising-looking wild plant species into abundant crops that allowed societies to develop and provide today for global food security. The photographs of the top of the slide show wild rice on a bowl of rice on the left, and wild wheat on wheat in the form of bread on the right.
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Let me give you an overview of the seminar. In the seminar, I will introduce a variety of topics to help explain plant domestication by asking a series of questions. At the end of this seminar, hopefully you will understand the nature of domestication and why particular plants were domesticated, where and when plants were first domesticated. The basic genetics associated with domestication, including crop complexes, the genetic bottleneck of domestication, the domestication syndrome, selective sweeps, and more. Also the causes of genetic variation in crops today, and how genetic variation for crop improvement is conserved today. And finally, how current trends will likely affect future domestication in crops.