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James Wong
Studying the genes of sweet potatoes shows Pacific Islanders visited The Americas at least 500 years before Columbus. What is even cooler? You can also show this voyage across the Pacific just by plotting local names of the crop on a map.
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Andrew In The Garden Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
Somebody told me once that Sweet Potatoes aren’t really potatoes. Is that true?
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Evan Allen Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
This is the coolest thing I've seen this year :)
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James Wong Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
Just in case that wasn't enough plant awesomeness: These sweet potato strains are all transgenic, containing bacterial genes inserted into them via infection. As this only occurs in cultivated forms, it suggests we may have specifically selected the transgenic type for a reason
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Naomi Slade Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
Interestingly, I have just finished reading Thor Heyerdahl's book, Aku Aku which came after the Kon Tiki Expedition, which goes into the migratory patterns in both directions across the Pacific, inc food, customs & ethnobotany. Enjoyed it!
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Sean Dague Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
There a footnote for all of this? Would love to read more.
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James Wong Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
Just in case you wanna read more, here's the original paper that the amazing map is from.
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AgroBioDiverse Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
Ah yes, the old Tripartite Hypothesis
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Kathleen E. Kennedy Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
thanks for this- was just about to ask as I can add it to a related bibliography I'm working on!
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Journal MCD Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
And wirhout a compass
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James Kenline Feb 7
yes
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Ben "the Wheat Raiser's" Edge Feb 7
Sweet potatoes are in the morningglory family.
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Andrew In The Garden Feb 7
Replying to @edgeben @Botanygeek
I think that was what I remember hearing, but I wasn't sure if it was correct, or whether I was being fooled.
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Ben "the Wheat Raiser's" Edge Feb 7
Yes, and Irish potatoes are in the nightshade family.
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Ben "the Wheat Raiser's" Edge Feb 7
So a sweet potato is really as much a potato as an Irish potato is a potato. They just happen to be from different families and are different plant structures. Sweet potato = modified root. Irish potato = modified stem (tuber).
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Ben "the Wheat Raiser's" Edge Feb 7
Just don't call a sweet potato a yam! ;-)
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Grant Jacobs Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
FWIW, genetic evidence from people suggests the direction of human migration to New Zealand was ultimately from Asia.
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Gayle Somerville Feb 7
the easy way to travel was east to west in the pacific, so the theory is that pacific peoples were not afraid to venture a long way east, cos they could always get home after. He is not talking about perminant settlement, he's talking about going out for kai, & coming home after
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Gayle Somerville Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
As far as I know these are assumed to be two way journeys, which gives a whole new meaning to the expression 'I'm just popping out for a feed'
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Bill Blevins Feb 7
Replying to @Botanygeek
I think that showed up on my DNA test too. Really neat! ;)
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