Departmental Seminar at CES on 29 November 2023 at 3:00 pm titled "Domestication Dynamics of Poppy: A Study of Domestication Purpose, Management Intensity, and Landscape Connectivity on Plant Traits " by Pranoy M S from IISc, Bangalore
Plant domestication, a process spanning about 10,000 years, involves the selective nurturing of wild species to meet human needs, leading to the domesticated crops we see today. Papaver somniferum, cultivated for food, ornamental, and medicinal purposes, serves as an ideal model to study trait changes under domestication. The first chapter of my thesis will compare morphological, phenological, and phytochemical traits across Papaveraceae varieties, focusing on P. somniferum domesticated for specific purposes versus related taxa unaffected by human intervention. This chapter will explore "domestication syndromes" (DS), such as changes in defensive chemicals, seed morphology, and biochemistry, to understand how these traits vary with different domestication goals. This analysis will use plant trait measurements taken from existing literature and from plants grown in a controlled environment.
The second chapter examines how plant traits associated with domestication in P. somniferum vary with the intensity of management and contrasting biogeographical contexts: Plains, Plateaus, and Mountains. Mountainous regions, with low human intervention, contrast with the more intensively managed farmlands of plateaus and plains. I expect to find that differences in human management practices, influenced by the constraints and opportunities of each landscape, along with cultural differences between farming communities affect the domestication intensity of this species. For this, I will use field observations, questionnaires, and surveys to identify practices impacting artificial selection in plants.
In the third chapter, I investigate how seed trade and spatial connectivity affect the spatial genetic population structure of P. Somniferum. By comparing poppies from fields in the highly connected Gangetic plains, moderately connected Marwar plateau, and the least connected Mishmi hills – using microsatellite-neutral markers – the aim is to reveal how landscape connectivity and human-mediated gene flow through seed trades and cultural connectivity shape the genetic diversity and structure of these geographically varied subpopulations.