Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants
Petersen, Jennifer J. , Parker, Ingrid M. , Potter, Daniel .
Whence the Star Apple: Understanding the role of domestication in shaping present-day distribution of a neo-tropical tree Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae).
CHRYSOPHYLLUM cainito L. commonly known as caimito or star apple is highly desired as an ornamental tree and for its large, edible fruits. It is widely cultivated throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. The origin of caimito is controversial; it is reported by some authors to be native to the Greater Antilles and to have become naturalized in Central and South America while others believe it to be a native species in Panama. We are using phylogeographic approaches to elucidate the probable geographic origin of cultivated forms of C. cainito and to understand its present day distribution by combining information from intra-specific variation in microsatellite markers and gene sequences with geographic locality data. We are examining fruit quality traits to understand domestication processes and levels of differentiation between cultivated and non-cultivated forms of neotropical fruit trees. Enriched libraries for four microsatellite motifs have been made for C. cainito and we report the initial development of six primer pairs which amplify and exhibit polymorphisms across cultivated and wild genotypes of C. cainito from a range of localities. Three additional enriched libraries will be screened in order to recover additional microsatellites. Our preliminary data show significant differences in fruit quality traits between cultivated and non-cultivated trees; most notably, total phenolic content was higher in the wild material than in cultivated material and we hypothesize that domestication may be affecting the quantity and/or quality of these compounds. The genus Chrysophyllum comprises about 70 species and many of these species are considered important by local people. Molecular phylogenetic analyses are being used to infer relationships among species of Chrysophyllum and outgroups in order to test the monophyly of the genus and its five sections, to confirm placement of C. cainito and determine its closest relatives.
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1 - University of California Davis, Section of Plant Biology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California, 95616-8537, USA
2 - University of California, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Earth & Marine Sciences Bldg., Santa Cruz, California, 95064, USA
tropical fruit trees
fruit quality traits.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: 303/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 10:15 AM