Mimicry of lentil and the domestication of common vetch and grass pea

Abstract

A hypothesis is proposed whereby weedy vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seed moved with seed of the cultivated lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) as a tolerated weed during the spread of the lentil from the Fertile Crescent in the Near East to its current distribution. As a result, selection occurred in vetch weeds for a reduction in dormancy/hard-seededness, increased competitive ability and biomass, and phenological adaptation to new environments⇆redisposing the weed for domestication. The cropping of common vetch for forage in pure culture followed. Archaeological evidence of admixtures of grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) in Neolithic finds of lentil, pea (Pisum sativum L.) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia (L.) Wild.) suggests a similar process of selection in grass pea for a weedy habit from which domestication later occurred.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Literature cited

  1. Basler, F. 1981. Weeds and their control. Pages 143–154in C. Webb and G. Hawtin, eds., Lentils. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Cooke, L. A., and B. A. Marchylo. 1991. Rapid electrophoretic detection of a lentil-like vetch (Vicia sativa L.) in commercial samples of French dark speckled lentils (Lens culinaris Medik.). Plant Varieties and Seeds 4:1–11.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Cubero, J. I. 1981. Origin, taxonomy and domestication. Pages 15–38in C. Webb and G. Hawtin, eds., Lentils. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Famham, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Dangol, D. R. 1990. Lentil weeds in Rampur, Chitwan valley, Nepal. LENS 17(1): 11–13.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Davis, P. H. 1970. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Volume 3. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  6. French, D. H., G. C. Hillman, S. Payne, and R. J. Payne. 1972. Excavations at Can Hasan III, 1969–70. Pages 181–190in E. S. Higgs, ed., Papers in economic prehistory. Cambridge University Press, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Hansen, J., and J. M. Renfrew. 1978. Palaeolithic-Neolithic seed remains at Franchthi cave, Greece. Nature 271:349–352.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Helbaek, H. 1956. Vegetables in the funeral meals of per-urban Rome Appendix Iin E. Gjerstad, ed., Early Rome I. Acta Inst. Roman Suerciae Bar 4.27: 2, 287–294.

  9. -. 1960. The Palaeobotany of the Near East and Europe. Pages 99–119in R. J. Braidwood and B. Howe, eds., Pre-historic investigations in Iraqi Kurdistan. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations. No. 31. University of Chicago Press.

  10. —. 1965. Isin-Larsan and Horian food remains at Tel Bazmosian in the Dokan valley. Sumer 19: 27–35.

    Google Scholar 

  11. —. 1969. Plant collecting, dry-farming and irrigation agriculture in prehistoric Deh Luran. Pages 383–426in F. Hole, K. V. Flannery, and J. A. Neely, eds., Prehistory and human ecology of the Deh Luran Plain. Memoirs Museum Anthropology No. 1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hillman, G. 1975. The plant remains from Tel Abu Hureyra: a preliminary report. Proc. Prehist. Soc. 41:70–73.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hopf, M. 1973. Fruhe Kulturpflanzen aus Bulgarien. Jahrbuch Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz 20:1–47.

    Google Scholar 

  14. ICARDA. 1993. Legume Program Annual Report 1992. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Aleppo, Syria.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Islam, R. 1981. Improved nitrogen fixation in lentils. Pages 155–161in C. Webb and G. Hawtin, eds., Lentils. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  16. KrolLH. 1979. Kulturpflanzen aus Dimini. ArchaeoPhysika 8:173–189.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ladizinsky, G. 1979. The origin of lentil and its wild genepool. Euphytica 28:179–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lauer, J.-P., V. Laurent Tackholm, andK. Aberg. 1950. Les plantes decouvertes dans les souterrains de l’enceinte du Roi Zoser a Saqqarah (111E Dynastie). Bulletin de l’lnstitut d’Egypte 35:121–157.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Meikle, R. D. 1977. Flora of Cyprus. Volume 1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Muehlbauer, F. J. 1987. Registration of Brewer and Emerald lentil. Crop Science 27:1088–1089.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Renfrew, J. M. 1973. Palaeoethnobotany. Methuen, London, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Rowlands, D. G. 1959. A case of mimicry in plants—Vicia sativa L. in lentil crops. Genetica 30:435–446.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Smartt, J. 1984. Evolution of grain legumes. I. Mediterranean pulses. Exp. Agric. 20:275–296.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Stebbins, G. L. 1950. Variation and evolution in plants. Columbia University Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Townsend, C. C., and E. Guest. 1974. Flora of Iraq, Volume 3 Leguminales. Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Baghdad, Iraq.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Turin, T. G., V. H. Heywood, N. A. Surges, D. M. Moore, D. H. Valentine, S. M. Walters, and D. A. Webb. 1968. Flora Europea. Volume 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  27. van Zeist, W. 1972. Palaeobotanical results in the 1970 season at Cayono, Turkey. Helinium 12:3–19.

    Google Scholar 

  28. —,and H. Buitenhuis. 1983. A palaeobotanical study of Neolithic Erbaba, Turkey. Anatolica 10: 47–89.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Waines, J. G., and N. P. Stanley Price. 1975-1977. Plant remains from Khirokitia in Cyprus. Paleorient 3:281–284.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Westphal, W. 1974. Pulses in Ethiopia, their taxonomy and agricultural significance. Haile Sellassie University, Ethiopia, Agricultural University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, Center for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

    Google Scholar 

  31. White, K. D. 1970. Roman farming. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Zohary, D. 1972. The wild progenitor and place of origin of the cultivated lentilLens culinaris. Economic Botany 26:326–332.

    Google Scholar 

  33. —. 1976. Lentil. Pages 163-164in N. W. Simonds ed, Evolution of crop plants. Longman, London, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  34. —,and M. Hopf. 1988. Domestication of plants in the Old World. Clarendon Press, Oxford, U.K.

    Google Scholar 

  35. —,and U. Plitmann. 1979. Chromosome polymorphism, hybridization and colonization in theVicia sativa group (Fabaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution 131:143–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William Erskine.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Erskine, W., Smartt, J. & Muehlbauer, F.J. Mimicry of lentil and the domestication of common vetch and grass pea. Econ Bot 48, 326–332 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02862334

Download citation

Key Words

  • common vetch
  • domestication
  • grass pea
  • lentil
  • mimicry
  • weeds