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Plant domestication is the process whereby wild plants have been evolved into crop plants through artificial selection. This usually involves an early hybridization event followed by selective breeding.
Spinach is an economically important vegetable crop but previous genomic resources were of limited use for comparative and functional analyses. Here, Xu et al. present a high quality draft spinach genome and transcriptome data for multiple Spinacia accessions providing insight into Caryophyllales genome evolution.
Constructing a reference genome for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) allows for genetic diversity during the evolution of sub-genomes in quinoa to be characterized and markers that may be used to develop sweet commercial varieties are identified.
For millennia, Chinese knowledge of agriculture and crop breeding influenced the whole world. After an extended period of introspection, Chinese plant biology is once again establishing global eminence.
Whether by accident or design, plants have accompanied people on many historical migrations. It is of little wonder then, that the history of humanity is recorded in the plants whose polysaccharides, proteins and oils keep us alive.