Rice origins and cultural history
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Rice origins and cultural history
Rounding up the archaeology, cultural history and domestication evidence for rice, and perhaps some other comparisons to other crops
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All roads lead to weediness: patterns of genomic divergence reveal extensive recurrent weedy rice origins from South Asian Oryza

All roads lead to weediness: patterns of genomic divergence reveal extensive recurrent weedy rice origins from South Asian Oryza | Rice origins and cultural history | Scoop.it
Weedy rice (Oryza spp.), a weedy relative of cultivated rice (O. sativa), infests and persists in cultivated rice fields worldwide. Many weedy rice populations have evolved similar adaptive traits
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
Feralization or de-domestication is a recurrent evolutionary process, at least amongst many grain crops, and the genetic work on weedy rices continues to lead the way in insights into the convergent evolution of weeds from crops. See previously this blog: http://archaeobotanist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/weed-evolution-by-de-domestication-case.html

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Hunter-gatherer specialization in the late Neolithic of southern Vietnam – The case of Rach Nui

Hunter-gatherer specialization in the late Neolithic of southern Vietnam – The case of Rach Nui | Rice origins and cultural history | Scoop.it
Rach Nui is a late Neolithic settlement of hunter-gatherers in southern Vietnam. However, the site also has a series of mortared floors corresponding to a sedentary lifestyle, where the inhabitants continued to live in the same area and repaired or replaced their floors over a period of 150 years. The inhabitants relied on a mixed economy that included domesticated and gathered plants, as well as hunted and managed animals. Although, there is evidence for the consumption of domesticated rice and foxtail millet, the inhabitants were mainly hunter-gatherers who relied on their surrounding mangrove and swamp forest habitats for most of their food requirements. From the archaeobotanical work done, it appears that the domesticated cereals, rice and foxtail millet, found at the site were imported. On the other hand, sedge nutlets and parenchyma were identified in high frequencies and were probably locally sourced, suggesting that foraging and/or vegeculture played a major role in the economy of Rach Nui
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Diversification and Cultural Construction of a Crop -The case of glutinous rice

Diversification and Cultural Construction of a Crop -The case of glutinous rice | Rice origins and cultural history | Scoop.it
Rice (Oryza) is one of the world’s most important and productive staple foods, with highly diverse uses and varieties. We use archaeobotany, culture, history, and ethnobotany to trace the history of the development of sticky (or glutinous) forms. True sticky rice is the result of a genetic mutation that causes a loss of amylose starch but higher amylopectin content. These mutations are unknown in wild populations but have become important amongst cultivars in East and Southeast Asia (unlike other regions). In the same region, other cereals have also evolved parallel mutations that confer stickiness when cooked. This points to a strong role for cultural history and food preparation traditions in the genetic selection and breeding of Asian cereal varieties. The importance of sticky rice in ritual foods and alcoholic beverages in East and Southeast Asia also suggests the entanglement of crop varieties and culturally inherited food traditions and ritual symbolism.
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
A review of the cultural importance of sticky rices throughout East and Southeast Asia with a model of their history that takes into account genetic evidence, archaeology, ancient history and the parallel evolution of other glutinous cereals like millets.
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rice paradox: Multiple origins but single domestication in Asian rice | Molecular Biology and Evolution | Oxford Academic

rice paradox: Multiple origins but single domestication in Asian rice | Molecular Biology and Evolution | Oxford Academic | Rice origins and cultural history | Scoop.it
The origin of domesticated Asian rice (Oryza sativa) has been a contentious topic, with conflicting evidence for either single or multiple domestication of this key crop species. We examined the evolutionary history of domesticated rice by analyzing de novo assembled genomes from domesticated rice and its wild progenitors. Our results indicate multiple origins, where each domesticated rice subpopulation (japonica, indica, and aus) arose separately from progenitor O. rufipogon and/or O. nivara. Coalescence-based modeling of demographic parameters estimate that the first domesticated rice population to split off from O. rufipogon was O. sativa ssp. japonica, occurring at ∼13.1 – 24.1 kya, which is an order of magnitude older then the earliest archaeological date of domestication. This date is consistent, however, with the expansion of O. rufipogon populations after the Last Glacial Maximum ∼18 kya and archaeological evidence for early wild rice management in China. We also show that there is significant gene flow from japonica to both indica (∼17%) and aus (∼15%), which led to the transfer of domestication alleles from early-domesticated japonica to proto-indica and proto-aus populations. Our results provide support for a model in which different rice subspecies had separate origins, but that de novo domestication occurred only once, in O. sativa ssp. japonica, and introgressive hybridization from early japonica to proto-indica and proto-aus led to domesticated indica and aus rice.
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A wet and dry story: distinguishing rice and millet arable systems using phytoliths

Changing rice and millet arable systems were closely linked to social and environmental changes in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in Central China. Two methods are used here to distinguish between rainfed millet farming and rice farming, using phytoliths from crop weeds found in ash middens and mixed cultural layer contexts. Samples were taken from three sites, Xipo and Huizui, in the Yellow River Valley in Henan, and Baligang which is situated towards the south of the province. The samples are from three cultural phases, Yangshao, Longshan and Erlitou. The phytoliths used are from grass leaves, so are not identified to genera or species but rather grouped into ecological categories, and canonical correspondence analysis was applied. Next, the ratios were calculated of phytolith morphotypes from cells that are genetically predisposed to form phytoliths (fixed), compared to silica bodies from cells that will form silica bodies when there is sufficient water uptake (sensitive). The results show differentiation between millet and rice and differences in how wet the rice fields were. The region experienced social and climate change throughout this time and this is reflected in the results

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New study finds many rice varieties are low-to-medium GI | Australian Food News

New study finds many rice varieties are low-to-medium GI | Australian Food News | Rice origins and cultural history | Scoop.it

New research from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has found that rice can help maintain a healthy, low glycemic index (GI) diet, even for diabetes sufferers.

 

The study found that most varieties of rice have a low-to-medium GI score. Researcher analysed 235 types of rice from around the world and discovered that the GI of rice ranges from a low of 48 to a high of 92, with an average of 64. Low-GI foods are those measured at 55 or less. Foods with a score between 58 and 69 are considered medium GI, while high-GI foods measure 70 and above.


Via Frank Kusters
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