WHAT IS DOMESTICATION ?
It is the process of bringing wile species under human management.
The present day cultivated plants have been derived from wild weedy species. The great wild relative was brought about by selection by man as well as nature. Domestication of wild species is still being done and is likely to continue for a long time in the future.
This is because, the human needs are likely to change with time. Consequently,. The wild species of little importance today may assume great significance tomorrow.
A notable case of recent development is that of several members of Eupharbicea producing latex. The latex of these plants may be commercially used for the extraction of petroleum products. Seeds of jobjobu contain oil, is highly suitable as an industrial lubricant.
The plants producing latex are gophor plant (Hevea sp.) milk weed (Euphorbia lathyrus) etc., As a result the field of these plant are called ” Living oil fields”.
Natural and Artificial selection under domestication
May be described as a phenomenon of some genotypes from population leaving behind more progeny than others. The genotypes that produce more progeny are selected for and others are selected against. In nature, there is a continuous selection by natural forces e.g. Temperature, soil, weather, pest and diseases etc., as a result the genotypes more suited to a given environment have behind more progeny than the less adapted ones. This process is known as ” Natural selection“.
The selection by man or “artificial selection” often permits only the selected plants to reproduce the progeny from the remaining plants are generally de carded. Thus the natural selection retain considerable variability in the species, while artificial selection progressively reduces this variability.
Artificial and natural selection have led to several distinct changes in the characteristics of domesticated species.