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Abstract Detail


Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants

Kritzer Van Zant, Miriam [1], Ugent, Donald [2], Lightfoot, David A. [3].

Morphological distinction of the traditional Andean root crop, Mirabilis expansa (Ruiz and Pav.) Standl. (Nyctaginaceae) and its’ wild relatives.

Mirabilis expansa (Ruiz and Pav.) Standl. includes an endangered indigenous Andean crop. with starchy, protein-rich roots. The epidermis of the root crop produces a chemical which discourages insect attack which quickly breaks down for consumption through easy, inexpensive, low tech methods. All Andean Mirabilis can exhibit high variation morphologically, even within individuals, which can make taxa harder to discern. M. expansa perianths are about 1-3 mm long. These small flowered Mirabilis were often confused with other Nyctaginaceae genera and species. Each treatment of Andean Mirabilis has varied greatly in species number. Irregular and random growth patterns, which often vary on multi-flowered individuals, have made quantitative data of little use, but qualitative characters for both the field and herbarium were found to morphologically distinguish small flowered Andean Mirabilis species and their varieties. They are: M. cordifolia (Kunze ex Choisy) Heimerl; M. expansa (Ruiz and Pav.) Standl. var. expansa and var. cascadia MKVZant; M. ovata (Ruiz and Pav.) F.Meigen var. ovata and var. obtusacuminata MKVZant; M. violacea (L.) Heimerl; M. viscosa Cav. var. viscosa and var. diversipilosa MKVZant; and rarely collected M. weberbaueri Heimerl. Two cultivars of the crop, purple flowered cv. ‘Lima’ MKVZant and white flowered cv. ‘Tocacachi’ MKVZant both clearly fall morphologically under M. expansa var. cascadia. The crop can also occasionally exhibit traits of other small flowered Andean Mirabilis. M. longiflora L. and frequently M. jalapa L., are cultivated and escaped in the Andes, but have significantly larger flowers and fruits.


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1 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology, Mail Code 6509, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, United States
2 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology, Mail Code 6509, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, USA
3 - SIUC, Plant Soil and Agricultural Systems, Genomics and Biotechnology Facility, MC4415, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901, USA

Keywords:
Nyctaginaceae
Mirabilis
Andean
root crops
taxonomy
morphology
indigenous
alternative agriculture
new crops
M. expansa.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP03
Location: Lake Ontario/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: CP03007
Abstract ID:2248


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