Alexis EarlBIOL 42600 Fall 2016Ecological and Agricultural consequences of crop domestication for plant defense to insectherbivory10/13/16 Ian Kaplan, PhD.Plant domestication can be thought of as a two-step process. In the first step, plants acquire traits in what is called the “domestication syndrome” that make the plant worth the labor of cultivation. These include traits that allow a crop to be reliably sown, cultivated and harvested,such as uniform seed germination and fruit ripening. In the second step, the now domesticated plant is selected for improved qualities. It is in this stage, for example, that farmers might breed many different varieties of a crop that differ in grain taste, fruit color or fruit shape. Much of the plant defense theory assumes a growth/defense trade-off. Plants are selected based on how big they are, but defense is lost in the process. Not all defenses are equally costly and not all selection histories are equal. Some have a longer genetic history and have many genetic crosses.