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RELATIONSHIPS AND EVOLUTION IN THE DAUCUS CAROTA COMPLEX

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The various theories regarding the origin of cultivated carrots are reviewed. While the evidence for the origin in southwest Asia of the “eastern” carrot with anthocyanin root pigmentation is convincing, there is still uncertainty as to the mode and place of origin of the “western” carotene carrot. Daucus maximus Desf., frequently mentioned in connection with the origin of the eastern carrot, is shown to have been consistently misidentified with D. carota subsp. azoricus Franco, which does not appear to have been involved in the evolution of the carotene carrot. It is postulated that the western carotene carrot was selected from a gene pool involving cultivated yellow-rooted “eastern” carrots, cultivated white-rooted derivatives of D. carota subsp. carota grown since classical times and wild unselected populations of adjacent D. carota subspecies. The role of the umbel, sex distribution and protandry in the reproductive biology and evolutionary trends in Daucus is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, Plant Science Laboratories, University of Reading

10.1080/0021213X.1983.10676964
/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1983.10676964
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/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1983.10676964
1983-05-13
2018-06-23

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