The nature of plant domestication

Friday & Colloquium 2 seminar by Michael D. Purugganan



Domestication is a major event in the ecological interaction of humans with their biotic environment. The switch of human food acquisition from a hunting/foraging strategy to one of cultivation and herding resulted in the evolution of numerous new species starting about 12,000 years ago. Using a wide range of approaches – from genomics to archaeology – my group has focused on understanding the nature of domestication and the evolutionary trajectory of domesticated species. We will discuss evidence from the archaeological record that speaks to the pace of domestication across the world. We will also explore genetic and genomic data from various species, most notably in Asian rice, Oryza sativa, to examine evolutionary histories of crop domesticates, identify selective sweeps in cultivated species, and recently beginning to develop new directions that will allow us to study how gene networks facilitate plant adaptation and how these networks evolve within and between species.

Michael D. Purugganan
Center for Genomics and Systems Biology
New York University

Published Feb. 3, 2012 3:53 PM