lec - Lecture 4 1 Lecture 4 Geography of Plant...

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1 Lecture 4 Geography of Plant Domestication: De Candolle, Darwin, and Vavilov Where did our crops fi rst appear? There are three towering fi gures concerned with the problem of plant domestication and crop origins. (See Reading 3-1, p. 64–72.) Alphonse de Candolle (1806–1893) Charles Darwin (1809–1882) 1858 Origin of Species Nicholas Ivanovitch Vavilov (1887–1943) Alphonse De Candolle (Fig. 4-1) Renowned Swiss botanist, born in Paris, ranked with Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray among 19th century. Son of a famous botanist, Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle (1778–1841), he took over his father’s botanic garden with a vast collection. De Candolle remained a creationist into the 1850s even as Hooker moved towards Darwin’s views, and wrote a massive tome on plant geography that assumed the derivation of each species from a specially created individual. He drafted the international rules of botanical nomenclature in 1867. His most famous book Origin of Cultivated Plants (1882) is the beginning of crop geography (see Reading 4-1 on the origins of apple and Reading 4-2 on the origin of maize). Many disciplines were used to determine the origin of cultivated plants: 1. Presence of wild relatives; 2. Historical; 3. Names (linguistics); 4. Archeology (limited in De Candolle’s time-now a major source of evidence due to carbon dating techniques); 5. Variation patterns. Although information was faulty, his book is a model of scholarship and continues to be a useful source of information. Note that his book is pre-cytological. This work remains a classic. Fig. 4-1. Alphonse De Candolle as a young botanist and at the height of his career. Charles Darwin (Fig. 4-2) Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. He was the British natural- ist who became famous for his theories of evolution and natural selection. Like several scientists before
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2 Lecture 4 him, Darwin believed all the life on earth evolved (developed gradually) over millions of years from a few common ancestors. From 1831 to 1836 Darwin served as naturalist aboard the H.M.S. Beagle on a British science expedition around the world. In South America Darwin found fossils of extinct animals that were similar to modern species. On the Galapagos Islands in the Pacifi c Ocean he noticed many variations among plants and animals of the same general type as those in South America. The expedition visited places around the world, and Darwin studied plants and animals everywhere he went, collecting specimens for further study.
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2011 for the course HORT 306 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Purdue.

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lec - Lecture 4 1 Lecture 4 Geography of Plant...

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