Reading 3-2

For example wild wheats and barley bear their seeds

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Unformatted text preview: ce of its domestication identified9. For example, wild wheats and barley bear their seeds on top of a stalk that spontaneously shatters, dropping the seeds to the ground where they can germinate (but where they also become difficult for humans to gather). An occasional single-gene mutation that prevents shattering is lethal in the wild (because the seeds fail to drop), but conveniently concentrates the seeds for human gatherers. Once people started harvesting those wild cereal seeds, bringing them back to camp, accidentally spilling some, and eventually planting others, seeds with a non-shattering mutation became unconsciously selected for rather than against9,17. Individual wild animals also vary in traits affecting their desirability to humans. Chickens were selected to be larger, wild cattle (aurochs) to be smaller, and sheep to lose their bristly outer hairs (the kemp) and not to shed their soft inner hairs (the wool). Most domestic animals, including even recently domesticated trout20, have smaller brains and less acute sense...
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2012 for the course HORT 306 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.

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