Spooky ancestors: how did the food basket of the stone age

Spooky ancestors: how did the food basket of the stone age

MOSCOW, 10 sen — news, Alfia Enikeeva. Watermelons the size of a pea, bananas with seeds, purple carrot and solid corn — our ancestors saw the potential in them, and brought the gorgeous edible varieties. To find the historical roots of these crops, managed with the help of DNA analysis.


RIA Novosti says that when people started breeding of vegetables and fruit and how it has affected their quality.

The Queen of the fields

The ancestor of corn is teosinte, which is nine thousand years ago fell an inquiring mind Homo sapiens, not so similar to the modern version of what scientists have long doubted their relationship.

The newsAs of the USSR implemented the famous “corn project”

The dispute was settled by the DNA of ancient teosinte ear (still grows in South America), found by archaeologists in one of the caves of Tehuacan valley in Mexico, and modern corn.

The remains of plants 5310 age years turned out to be a missing link between teosinte, which not even the cob, and the stem ends, small ears with hard grains, and familiar to us yellow corn.

The size of the cobs found in the caves of Tehuacan, closer to the wild ancestor, about two inches in length, but apparently has resembles modern corn. Grains of ancient plants deprived of a hard shell around a hard Central part and closed leaves. Based on a comparative analysis of three genomes, the scientists came to the conclusion that the transformation of teosinte into maize culture was gradual, and not drastic changes in genes, as previously thought.

Bitter striped berry

In 2014, at Christie’s put up a still life Italian painter Giovanni Machines, attracted the attention not only of art historians and art lovers, many historians and biologists.

Newsthe biggest and Most expensive. Set watermelon records

Among masterfully depicted peaches, pears and apples were pretty weird with the watermelon too thick (even watermelon), rind and large seeds. Sweet red pulp in the berries was not enough, and most of the fruit were white and inedible.

Watermelon really looked like in the seventeenth century, and its wild predecessor — tsamma melon (Citrullus ecirrhosus), which grows in the African Kalahari desert, is a striped berry no more than five centimeters in diameter, bitter and hard. Sugar in it is three times less than in the watermelon, but there are fats and starch. DNA analysis showed that tsamma and modern watermelon — related.