The Domestication Syndrome in Phoenix dactylifera Seeds: Toward the Identification of Wild Date Palm Populations.
Investigating crop origins is a precedence to grasp the evolution of crops underneath domestication, develop methods for conservation and valorization of agrobiodiversity and purchase basic data for cultivar enchancment.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) belongs to the genus Phoenix, which includes 14 species morphologically very shut, generally hardly distinguishable. It has been cultivated for millennia in the Middle East and in North Africa and constitutes the keystone of oasis agriculture. Yet, its origins stay poorly understood as no wild populations are recognized.
Uncultivated populations have been described however they may signify feral, i.e. previously cultivated, deserted varieties somewhat than actually wild populations. In this context, this examine primarily based on morphometrics utilized to 1625 Phoenix seeds goals to (1) differentiate Phoenix species and (2) depict the domestication syndrome noticed in cultivated date palm seeds utilizing different Phoenix species as a “wild” reference.
This will assist discriminate actually wild from feral varieties, thus offering new insights into the evolutionary historical past of this species. Seed dimension was evaluated utilizing 4 parameters: size, width, thickness and dorsal view floor. Seed form was quantified utilizing define analyses primarily based on the Elliptic Fourier Transform methodology.
The dimension and form of seeds allowed an correct differentiation of Phoenix species. The cultivated date palm exhibits distinctive dimension and form options, in comparison with different Phoenix species: seeds are longer and elongated. This morphological shift could also be interpreted as a domestication syndrome, ensuing from the long-term historical past of cultivation, choice and human-mediated dispersion. Based on seed attributes, some uncultivated date palms from Oman could also be recognized as wild.
This opens new prospects concerning the attainable existence and characterization of relict wild populations and consequently for the understanding of the date palm origins. Finally, we right here describe a pipeline for the identification of the domestication syndrome in seeds that might be used in different crops.