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Primitive weedy forms of guar, adak guar possible missing link in the domestication of guar

Primitive weedy forms of guar, adak guar possible missing link in the domestication of guar

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 58(7): 961-966

Crop domestication has lead to the selection of a wide range of traits that distinguish domesticated crops from their wild ancestors. Over the past four decades, concerted efforts by archaeologists and geneticists have provided novel insights into the domestication of crops. However, minor crops are rarely a subject for intensive domestication studies and very less is known on the domestication of guar [Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub.] except the trans-domestication hypothesis. The hypothesis proposes that the domestication of guar took place in recent times in the dry areas of the northwestern region of Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and the African wild species, C. senegalensis Guill. et Perr., as its ancestor. However, the process by which the wild species was domesticated is not fully understood. The present paper describes the exploration, collection and in situ characterization of the primitive weedy forms of guar that could be the missing link between the wild and cultivated species. Adak guar is found to grow along with cultivated guar as a weed and is characterized by several primitive characters, prominent among which are spreading habit, small inedible pods which shatter at maturity, hard seed coat and seed dormancy. A total of 66 germplasm collections of these primitive weedy forms of guar have been made from naturally occurring populations in the arid regions of northwestern India. Systematic studies involving these primitive weedy forms can help in understanding the domestication bottlenecks and in utilizing the genetic variation lost during the process of domestication for the improvement of cultivated guar.

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Accession: 036159407

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DOI: 10.1007/s10722-011-9728-z

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