Five thousand years ago, early farmers took a special interest in sunflowers. Through its continued cultivation since that time, the sunflower has evolved into an essential crop that permeates human life, whether in beautiful bouquets, as salty snacks, or as a primary source of cooking oil in many parts of the world. This lecture will examine how the sequencing of modern and archaeological genomes by Berkeley researchers is shedding new light on the biological and cultural history of the sunflower’s transformation through domestication. In addition, recent work revealing how and why sunflower stems track the sun will be discussed.
Speaker: Benjamin Blackman, UC Berkeley
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