Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Domestication Syndrome in Plants

  • Robin G. Allaby
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2416


The evolution of domesticated forms of plants involved the selection of traits that were suited to the human rather than the wild environment. The types of traits that are selected have been similar across different species plants giving rise to the concept of the domestication syndrome. Some controversy still persists about the nature of selection of such traits and the degree of human consciousness involved, although the majority of the field accepts that most traits were probably subject to unconscious selection. It has become apparent in recent years that understanding the nature of the plurality of processes underlying the domestication syndrome is key to understanding the origins of domestication.


The domestication syndrome can be defined as the characteristic collection of phenotypic traits associated with the genetic change to a domesticated form of an organism from a wild progenitor form. The term “adaptation syndrome” as applied to traits automatically...

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Further Reading

  1. Allaby, R.G. 2010. Integrating the processes in the evolutionary system of domestication. Journal of Experimental Botany 61: 935–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK