Scientists confirm sunflowers were domesticated at on e site in the Eastern United Stated.
ScienceDaily — New genetic evidence presented by a team led by Indiana University biology doctoral graduate Benjamin Blackman confirms what is now the eastern United States as the single geographic domestication site of modern sunflowers. Co-authors on the findings published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences include Blackman's advisor, IU Distinguished Professor of Biology Loren H. Rieseberg, and four others from Rieseberg's lab, as well as collaborators from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the University of Cincinnati.
Through a comprehensive examination of the geographic diversity in three recently identified early domestication genes of Helianthus annuus, the researchers also reported finding no DNA evidence to support suggestions based on archaeological evidence that a second, independent domestication event had occurred in what is now Mexico.
"Our results affirm that the eastern United States was an independent center of plant domestication and that all known living cultivated sunflowers shared a common origin there," Blackman said.