Search for the wild ancestor of buckwheat III. The wild ancestor of cultivated common buckwheat, and of tatary buckwheat

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Abstract

By surveying wild Fagopyrum species and their distribution in southern China and the Himalayan hills, I arrived at the conclusion that the newly discovered subspecies F. esculentum ssp. ancestralis Ohnishi is the wild ancestor of cultivated common buckwheat, while previously known wild tatary buckwheat, F. tataricum ssp. potanini Batalin is the wild ancestor of tatary buckwheat. Their original birthplace is revealed to be northwestern corner of Yunnan province for common buckwheat judging from the distribution of wild ancestor, and to be the northwest part of Sichuan province for tatary buckwheat judging from allozyme variability in wild tatary buckwheat. F. cymosum is not the ancestor of cultivated buckwheat; it is only distantly related to cultivated buckwheat, in morphology, isozymes and cpDNA. Several genetic, ecological and taxonomic categories which should be taken into consideration in examining the origin of buckwheat were discussed. Key Words: Fagopyrum esculentum ssp. ancestralis; Fagopyrum tataricum ssp. potanini; southern China theory of origin of buckwheat.

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