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University of Toronto Mississauga
Pierre Desrochers

GGR329 Lecture 5 Farmer Power 2 How to Make an Almond Apples or Indians Zebras and Anna Karenina 1. How to make an Almond All modern crops arose from wild species, - Often look very different - Sometimes lethal or bad tasting Plant domestication: - Changing genetic make-up of plant to make it more useful to human consumers (wild apple, crab apple, red winter calville) Corn + Teosinte = Cob Some Thoughts on Corn From teosinte to corn “somebody who did that today would get a nobel prize” - 200 wild species of potato found in the America - Potatoes eaten today come from 1 cultivated species The Miraculous Tuber… - Will grow (high altitudes, poor soil, etc) where other crops will not GGR329 Lecture 5 - Can be left in ground around 1 year if soil stays above -2C (easier to hide, frozen potatoes and eaten) - After freezing night temperature break down tubers’ cell walls and dried chuno, foodstuff which were stored for years. The potato has made a great power out of Germany and has enabled her to overthrow France… Crop development today is a - Conscious - Highly specialized effort Carried out by professional scientists. This began a while ago… Approximate date of domestication - 10000 ya  wheat, barley, peas - 9000  flax - 6000  olives - 5000  almonds - Mid ages strawberries - 1846  pecans Plant’s perspective GGR329 Lecture 5 Plant’s goal: - To spread offspring to areas where they can thrive - To pass on their parents’ genes But plants can’t move… Options: - Wind - Water - To trick animals into carrying seeds Seed dispersal: Seeds are - Bitter - Can resist digestion Natural Selection (i.e. not conscious): - Fruit/seed not ready: green; - Ready: red Seed dispersal From plants perspective, humans are like other species. They like us only if we serve them well. Early farmers didn’t understand genetics, but began selecting for: GGR329 Lecture 5 - Size - Taste (bitternesses; poisonous) - Fleshiness - Oiliness - Fiber length But what is good for humans might not necessarily be good for survival in the wild… Almonds Bitter seed (contain amygdalin, breaks d
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