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Cajanus cajan origins and domestication: the South and Southeast Asian archaeobotanical evidence

Murphy, C; Fuller, DQ; Castillo, C; Kingwell-Banham, E; Naik, S; (2019) Cajanus cajan origins and domestication: the South and Southeast Asian archaeobotanical evidence. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution , 66 (6) pp. 1175-1188. 10.1007/s10722-019-00774-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. commonly known as pigeonpea, red gram or gungo pea is an important grain legume crop, particularly in rain-fed agricultural regions in the semi-arid tropics, including Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. This paper provides a baseline for the study of the domestication and early history of C. cajan, through reviewing its modern wild distribution, seed morphometrics of wild and domesticated populations, historical linguistics and the archaeological record. The distribution of wild populations, including published records and additional herbarium collections, suggest that the wild habitats of pigeonpea were at the interface of the forest-edge areas and more open savanna plains in eastern Peninsular India (e.g. Telengana, Chattisgarh, Odisha). Early archaeological finds presented here have been recovered from both the Southern peninsula and Odisha. Historical linguistic data suggests early differentiation into longer and shorter growing season varieties, namely arhar and tuar types, in prehistory. Pigeonpea had spread to Thailand more than 2000 years ago. Measurements of seeds from modern populations provide a baseline for studying domestication from archaeological seeds. Available measurements taken on archaeological Cajanus spp. suggest that all archaeological collections thus far fall into a domesticated Length:Width ratio, while they may also pick up the very end of the trend towards evolution of larger size (the end of the domestication episode) between 3700 and 3200 years BP. This suggests a trend over time indicating selection under domestication had begun before 3700 years ago can be inferred to have started 5000-4500 years ago.

Type: Article
Title: Cajanus cajan origins and domestication: the South and Southeast Asian archaeobotanical evidence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10722-019-00774-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-019-00774-w
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2019 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Legume, morphometrics, paleoethnobotany, linguistics, Neolithic, Cambodia, India, Thailand
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073863
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