Wheat: A Domesticated Crop

Decent Essays

Cultivation of wheat started around 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic Revolution when hunter-gatherer lifestyle transitioned into agriculture-based society. The first cultivated wheats were einkorn (Triticum urartu), with diploid AA genome, and emmer wheat (T. turgidum L. subspecies dicoccum, traditionally known as T. dicoccum), with tetraploid AABB genome (Dvorak et al. 1998; Dvořák et al. 1993; Gopher 2002; Harlan and Zohary 1966). Hexaploid wheat appeared around 9000 years ago when tetraploid wheat underwent crosses with Aegilops tauschii, with diploid DD genome, to give hexaploid wheat (Salamini et al. 2002; Feldman 2001).
There is a small region in the northern Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), defined as “core area”, where the wild progenitors of all the package species of crop domestication appear together. Archaeological evidence indicates that the core area was an active cultural center from which the culture along with crop domestication spread to other parts of the Levant (Gopher 2002). Phylogenetic analysis based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting indicated that cultivated einkorns are closely related to wild einkorn wheat from Karacadağ mountains of southeast Turkey suggesting Karacadağ region to be the site for first domestication of einkorn wheat (Diamond 1997; Heun and Schafer-Pregl 1997). During the Neolithic and early Bronze ages, hulled emmer was used as the principal food source in the Old World

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