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Human Civilization and Agriculture

  • Atul Bhargava
  • Shilpi Srivastava
Chapter

Abstract

Human beings have existed on this earth for about 250,000 years initially as foragers or hunter-gatherers for thousands of years gathering wild plants and hunting animals. The earliest fossils of Homo sapiens are located in Africa and dated to the late Middle Pleistocene. The hunter-gatherers dominated the scene across all continents until the end of the Pleistocene. Thereafter, food production based on domestication of relatively few wild species (both plant and animal) took the center stage. Agriculture was thought to be a significant improvement over the hunter-gatherer mode of living since it was more convenient to grow a dependable food source rather than collect plants from the wild. Domestication, an accelerated evolutionary process driven by human intervention and natural selection, was a unique form of mutualism that developed between humans and the target plant or animal population and had strong selective advantages for both the partners. During the domestication process, many traits in plants underwent dramatic modifications to meet the fastidious requirement of humans. After domestication, only favorable haplotypes were retained around selected genes leading to the creation of a valley with extremely low genetic diversity.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atul Bhargava
    • 1
  • Shilpi Srivastava
    • 2
  1. 1.Amity Institute of BiotechnologyAmity University Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow Campus)LucknowIndia
  2. 2.Amity Institute of BiotechnologyAmity University Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow Campus)LucknowIndia

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