the 21st of May 2019, Dr. Valentina Caracuta will give a talk at the 3rd International Legume Society meeting -Pozdnan. https://ils3.org/program
‘The origin and distribution of faba bean (Vicia faba) – new insight from the past’
Faba bean is a staple in the diets of many societies from North Africa to China and India. Despite its agronomic and economic importance, very little can be done to improve the crop sensitiveness to pests, diseases and environmental stress. All the subspecies are domesticated and useful genetic traits, often preserved in the wild type, cannot be selected to increase the crop resistance.
This work aims to identify the original distribution of the wild progenitor of faba bean and the routes used by prehistoric farmers to spread the domesticated types across the Mediterranean. The study is based on the survey of the findings of faba bean in archaeological sites, where the seeds can be preserved for thousands of years.
The data collected show that the wild progenitor grew on Mount Carmel (Israel) about 14,000 years ago and that the earliest domesticated types were cultivated in Lower Galilee (Israel) around 10,200 years ago. From this point onward, remains of faba bean started appearing in the Middle East, then in the Mediterranean, and later, in central Europe, following the dispersal routes of the Neolithic farmers.