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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants

Parker, Ingrid M. [1], López, Isis [2], Petersen, Jennifer J. [3], Potter, Daniel [3].

Effects and ecological consequences of proto-domestication on fruit and seed traits of Chrysophyllum cainito in Panama.

DOMESTICATION and proto-domestication in fruit trees lead predictably to changes in fruit and seed traits. These changes are likely in turn to influence life history and fitness in the original wild context. In areas where wild populations persist in close proximity to proto-domesticated genotypes, comparisons between the two 1) reveal what traits humans may be selecting on, and 2) provide an opportunity to study the ecological significance of those traits in the wild. In Panama, the caimito tree, Chrysophyllum cainito, is commonly cultivated in home gardens while still widespread in tropical forests across the Pacific slope. We compared fruits and seeds of cultivated individuals with those from wild populations. Both cultivated and wild groups showed considerable variation for all traits. We found that in domesticated individuals, fruits were significantly larger, with more seeds, and seeds were much larger. There was no significant difference in dissolved solids (degrees Brix, which may correlate with sugar content). In cultivated fruits, the exocarp was slightly thicker, but was a smaller proportion of the total width of the fruit. As measured by a penetrometer, the wild fruits were tougher to penetrate. Fruit damage by fly larvae was more common in cultivated material, while seed damage by beetle larvae was more common in wild material. Experiments on seed germination and early fitness correlates in the forest understory were used to explore the ecological significance of differences between fruits and seeds of cultivated and wild trees.

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1 - University of California, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Earth & Marine Sciences Bldg., Santa Cruz, California, 95064, USA
2 - Universidad de Panamá, Botánica, Panamá, , Panamá
3 - University of California Davis, Section of Plant Biology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California, 95616-8537, USA

tropical forest
fruit evolution

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 33-3
Location: 303/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 8:30 AM
Abstract ID:186

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