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Ancient sunflower fuels debate about agriculture in the Americas
Date:4/28/2008

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This is a Native American of the Otomi group who was interviewed by the researchers about her sunflower knowledge.

The group's research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) as Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as a Pre-Columbian Domesticate in Mexico with UCs David Lentz as lead author and co-authors Mary Pohl from Florida State, Jos Luis Alvarado from Mexicos Institute of Anthropology and History and Robert Bye from the Independent National University of Mexico. (Lentzs student, Somayeh Tarighat, is also a co-author on the paper.)

The discovery of ancient sunflower in Mexico refines our knowledge of domesticated Mesoamerican plants and adds complexity to our understanding of cultural evolution, the authors state in the paper.

Lentzs research on the biogeography of sunflower is also being published at the same time as the cover story for the International Journal of Plant Sciences, Ecological Niche Modeling and Distribution of Wild Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) in Mexico, with co-authors Robert Bye and Victor Snchez-Cordero from the Independent National University of Mexico (UNAM).

Beyond the recognition of the great cultures due these early peoples, there are very real lessons that we can learn from them. As we deal with our modern-day issues of global warming and as we evaluate and examine what crops will survive and thrive in warmer climates, the ancient Aztecs might have some valuable lessons to teach us and the descendants of the Aztecs may have valuable sunflower seed stocks to help improve our modern agricultural capability.


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Contact: Wendy Hart Beckman
wendy.beckman@uc.edu
513-556-1826
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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