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Domestication of the carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.)

Domestication of the carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.)

Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 50: S141-S145

Available archaeo-botanical finds (most of them from Israel) show that the carob Ceratonia siliqua L. existed in the Eastern Mediterranean basin long before the start of agriculture. Early literary sources indicate that its domestication took place relatively late (only in Roman times). The probable reason for this late date is that the carob does not lend itself to simple vegetative propagation, and its cultivation had to wait until the introduction of scion grafting into the Mediterranean basin. Carob culture reached its peak in this region in early Islamic times. C. siliqua cultivars and wild-growing trees frequently grow side by side, and intercross rather freely. It is proposed that under domestication, hermaphroditic clones were favored, causing a partial breakdown of dioecy in carob culture. Through introgression, this development also affected some of the wild populations.

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Accession: 066169075

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DOI: 10.1560/bw6b-4m9p-u2ua-c6nn

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