In the late Neolithic and Bronze Ages between 6000 and 3000 BCE, the ancient
Mediterranean fruits (date, olive, grape, fig, sycomore fig, and pomegranate) were domesticated
(Zohary and Spiegel-Roy 1975). Fruits such as citrus, banana, various pome fruits (apple, pear,
quince, medlar) and stone fruits (almond, apricot, cherry, peach, and plum) were domesticated in
Central and East Asia and reached the West in antiquity. A number of fruits and nuts were
domesticated only in the 19
centuries (blueberry, blackberry, pecan, and kiwifruit).
Some well-known fruits, although extensively collected, remain to be domesticated such as
lingonberry, various cacti such as pitaya, Brazilnut, and durian. This review will consider the
various technologies inherent in the origins of some well known fruits emphasizing factors that
led to domestication and the genetic changes that ensued.
A. The Origins of Agriculture
The change from food collection to food production requires the domestication of plants and