Domestication Of Early Plants Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

Early farmers picked up some fruit of wild plants to home, eat them, and spited out the bigger seeds or defecated the tiny size seeds to human latrines. And then the seeds germinated in the early lab. But the key points were how the early farmers decided to pick up which fruit? It’s not hard to make some hypothesis:
Fruit size:
Strawberry, early farmers went into thorny thicket amid the mosquitoes on a hot, humid day to pick up strawberry; the only criterion is the size. The early farmer would choose only bigger size ones to compensate the while to get sunburned and mosquito bitten.
Many wild seeds evolved to be bitter, bad-tasting or even poisonous to keep human or animals ...view middle of the document...

A clear example like peas, whose seeds come enclosed in a pod. Wild peas have to get out of the pod if they are to germinate. They explode to shoot the seeds out. If the seeds were shot away, early farmers would have no access to them. They would remain wild plants, without crops. Mutated seeds stayed in the pod, and early farmers had the chance to pick up them.
Similarly, the wild wheat and barley seeds grow at the top of stalk that spontaneously shatters, dropping seeds to the ground where they can germinate. A single-gene mutation prevents the stalks from shattering. In wild it was lethal to the plant. But the mutated seeds had chance to be noticed and picked up by early farmers to cultivate them harvested.

Germination inhibition
In the very unpredictable climate, it could be lethal if all the seeds sprouted quickly and simultaneously. They could be died out with exposure to drought or frost. So many plants evolved to make seeds initially dormant and spread out their germination over several years by means of enclosing their seeds in a thick coat or armor. Wild plants with such adaptation include wheat, barley, peas, flax and sunflowers. Early farmers would have discovered by trial and error that they could obtain higher yields that they could obtain higher yields by tilling and watering the soil and then sowing seeds. When that happened, sees that immediately sprouted grew into plants whose seeds were harvested and planted in the next year. Occasional mutant individuals that sprout quickly might not be noticed by early farmers because they were possibly not able to notice the difference of cycle.

Reproductive biology
Occasional mutant plant individuals are useful to humans. But they tend to be less useful when those desirable mutants proceeded to interbreed with normal plant. The mutation would be diluted or lost. So preserving the mutant seeds tend to be important.

(Some mutant individuals developed fruit without having to be pollinated, resulting in seedless bananas, grapes, oranges and pineapples. Some mutant hermaphrodites lost their self-incompatibility and became able to fertilize themselves, such as plums, peaches, apples, apricots, and cherries.)

Very easy to plant
Wheat, barley and peas, were already edible and gave high yields in the wild. They were easily grown. They were easily grown, merely by being sown and sowing. They could be...

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