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Breadfruit: Origins and Development

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Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology
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Breadfruit has been a major staple crop for millennia in the islands of Oceania, where hundreds of cultivars have been developed and named. The first accepted botanical description of breadfruit dates back to 1773 by Sydney Parkinson, one of the artists who accompanied Joseph Banks on the voyage of the Endeavour. Since then a proliferation of names for breadfruit and its close relatives have been published, leading to much confusion in the literature about the correct scientific name for and the delimitation of the domesticated breadfruit. Recent examination of both morphological and molecular characters of hundreds of samples of breadfruit from throughout Oceania as well as related species has lead to a better understanding (Zerega et al. 2005a). The domesticated breadfruit is Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg (the most commonly seen synonyms include A. communis (Forster) and A. incisa(Thun.) L.f.). Two closely related species that contributed...

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References

  • Fosberg, F.R. 1960. Introgression in Artocarpus in Micronesia. Brittonia 12: 101–113.

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  • Jones, A.M.P., D. Ragone, N.G. Tavana, D.W. Bernotas, and S.J. Murch. 2011a. Beyond the bounty: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) for food security and novel foods in the 21st century. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 9: 129–149.

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  • Jones, A.M.P., D. Ragone, K. Aiona, W.A. Lane, and S.J. Murch. 2011b. Nutritional and morphological diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): Identification of elite cultivars for food security. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 24: 1091–1102.

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  • Jones, A.M.P., S.J. Murch, J. Wiseman, and D. Ragone. 2013. Morphological diversity in breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): Insights into domestication, conservation, and cultivar identification. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 60: 175–192.

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  • Kirch, P.V. 2000. On the road of the winds: An archaeological history of the Pacific Islands before European contact. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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  • McCoy, M.D., M.W. Graves, and G. Murakami. 2010. Introduction of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) to the Hawaiian Islands. Economic Botany 64: 374–381.

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  • Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2004. Complex origins of breadfruit: Implications for human migrations in Oceania. American Journal of Botany 91: 760–766.

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  • Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2005a. Systematics and species limits of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae). Systematic Botany 30: 603–615.

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  • Zerega, N.J.C., D. Ragone, and T.J. Motley. 2005b. Genetic diversity and origins of domesticated breadfruit. In Darwin’s harvest: New approaches to the origins, evolution, and conservation of crops, ed. T.J. Motley, N.J.C. Zerega, and H.B. Cross, 213–238. New York: Columbia University Press.

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Further Reading

  • Jarrett, F.M. 1959. Studies in Artocarpus and allied genera, III. A revision of Artocarpus subgenus Artocarpus. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 40 (115–9): 307–323.

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  • Ragone, D. 1997. Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops series, volume 10: Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

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Correspondence to Nyree J. C. Zerega .

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Zerega, N.J.C. (2020). Breadfruit: Origins and Development. In: Smith, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30018-0_2171

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