Lecture 12 reading 12_1

Lecture 12 reading 12_1 - Reading 12-1 1 READING 12-1...

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1 Reading 12-1 READING 12-1 Source: Jules Janick. 2001. Asian crops in North America (Workshop: Asian horticultural crops in North America) Hort Technology 11:510–513. Asian Crops in North America Additional index words , agronomic crops, food crops, germplasm, horticultural crops Summary More than half of the world’s food crops have originated in Asia. Throughout the centuries there has been an exchange of crops between Asia and the rest of the world and as a result some of the most well known crops in North America, both food crops and ornamental species, are Asian species. The globaliza- tion of the world’s economy opens up the possibility of new exchanges. Introduction The distribution of plant species over the earth is not uniform (Vavilov, 1992). A few favored areas possess large numbers of species and are the likely incubators of most of our present-day crop plants. These “centers of diversity” were termed “centers of origins” by N.I. Vavilov, the great Russian biogeographer. Of the seven World Centers chosen by Vavilov for the origin of cultivated species (Fig. 1), three are found in Asia. These include: I, the tropical south Asiatic center (including India and southeastern Asia); II, the east Asiatic center; and III, the southwestern Asiatic center. Old World non-Asian centers include: IV, the Medi- terranean center and V, the Abyssinian center. The two New World centers include: VI, the Central American center and VII, the Andean center. Northern areas of the world such as Siberia, northern Europe, Canada, and the continental United States, undoubtedly as a result of glaciation in the Ice Age, contain relatively Fig. R 12-1. The Vavilovian centers of origin for crop plants. Adapted from Smith (1995).
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2 Reading 12-1 few native species taking into consideration their large land mass. As a result these areas have contributed relatively few world crops with the exception of pasture grasses. The most notable crop contribution from the United States includes strawberry ( Fragaria ´ananassa ), blueberry and cranberry ( Vaccinium spp . ) and sunfl ower (Helianthus annuus). The continent we call Asia is often lumped with Europe as Eurasia, for there is no clear demarcation in this large land mass. For purposes of this discussion we will consider Asia distinct from Europe. While more than half of the world’s important crop species originate in Asia, a transfer of crop species has been underway since Antiquity via the spice and silk routes and was intensifi ed in the Age of Exploration begin- ning in the 15 th century as major crops were exchanged. The ancient history of this transfer is suggested in the many misnomers that occur in our crop names, such as the binomial Prunus persica for peach suggesting that it came from Persia. It is now clear that Persia was just a byway as the peach originates in Eastern China (Faust and Timon, 1995). In a similar way, the early European name for maize ( Zea mays ), a native of the New World, was Turkish corn, and our native bird was named the turkey when its origin was misidentifi ed in Europe.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2011 for the course HIST 302a taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '08 term at Purdue.

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Lecture 12 reading 12_1 - Reading 12-1 1 READING 12-1...

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