October 10, 2019
Pineapples are grown using clonal propagation; growing from parts of the plant, such as the leafy top of the fruit, rather than by sexual reproduction. A team of researchers wanted to investigate whether some varieties of pineapple had been started with a cutting from one individual plant. This would mean they had been domesticated in a single step unlike a crop like corn which was domesticated over thousands of years of selective breeding.
An international team of researchers led by the University of Illinois unraveled the genome of the red pineapple, and used this data, and genomics sequences from other pineapple varieties to test the theory. They observed large sections of repeated DNA in the red pineapple which indicates the variety is the result of years of exclusively clonal propagation, and there had been no sexual reproduction events.
This research indicated that one-step domestication has been possible in crops that are clonally propagated. The method used in this research may now be used to further investigate the domestication history of other clonally propagated crops like banana, sugarcane and potatoes.
Source: Phys Org
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