Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Revealing study on 16 centuries old cotton farming
Revealing study on 16 centuries old cotton farming
03
Apr '12
Scientists studying 1,600-year-old cotton from the banks of the Nile have found what they believe is the first evidence that punctuated evolution has occurred in a major crop group within the relatively short history of plant domestication.

The findings offer an insight into the dynamics of agriculture in the ancient world and could also help today's domestic crops face challenges such as climate change and water scarcity.

The researchers, led by Dr Robin Allaby from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick, examined the remains of ancient cotton at Qasr Ibrim in Egypt's Upper Nile using high throughput sequencing technologies.

This is the first time such technology has been used on ancient plants and also the first time the technique has been applied to archaeological samples in such hot countries.

The site is located about 40 km from Abu Simbel and 70 km from the modern Sudanese border on the east bank of what is now Lake Nasser.

They also studied South American samples from sites in Peru and Brazil aged between 800 and nearly 4,000 years old.

The results showed that even over the relatively short timescale of a millennia and a half, the Egyptian cotton, identified as G. herbaceum, showed evidence of significant genomic reorganisation when the ancient and the modern variety were compared.

However closely-related G.Barbadense from the sites in South America showed genomic stability between the two samples, even though these were separated by more than 2,000 miles in distance and 3,000 years in time.

This divergent picture points towards punctuated evolution - long periods of evolutionary stability interspersed by bursts of rapid change – having occurred in the cotton family.

Dr Allaby said: “We think of evolution as a very slow process, but as we analyse more genome information we can see that there's been a huge amount of large-scale proactive change during recent history.

“Our results for the cotton from Egypt indicate that there has been the potential for more adaptive evolution going on in domesticated plant species than was appreciated up until now.

“Plants that are local to their particular area will develop genes which allow them to better tolerate the stresses they find in the environment around them.

“It's possible that cotton at the Qasr Ibrim site has adapted in response to extreme environmental stress, such as not enough water.

“This insight into how domesticated crops evolved when faced with environmental stress is of value for modern agriculture in the face of current challenges like climate change and water scarcity.”

For archaeologists, the results also shed light on agricultural development in the ancient world.

There has long been uncertainty as to whether ancient Egyptians had imported domesticated cotton from the Indian subcontinent, as had happened with other crops, or whetherthey were growing a native African variety which had been domesticated locally.


Must ReadView All

Apparel/Garments | On 23rd Sep 2017

AAFA urges negotiators to preserve TPLs in NAFTA

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), an alliance of...

Textiles | On 23rd Sep 2017

SIMA urges Centre to re-look duty drawback rates

he Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has appealed to the...

Textiles | On 23rd Sep 2017

PKR 690.65-mn budget for Pakistan Cotton Committee

The Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) recently approved a PKR...

Interviews View All

Binoy Ravjani
Hero's Fashion

‘One of the recent trends in hand block printing is the indigo process,...

Headhonchos
Indian fashion industry

Organic the first choice of any environment-conscious person

Hannah Lane
Redress

Encouragement from brands will motivate supply chains to become more...

Eamonn Tighe
Nature Works LLC

Eamonn Tighe, Fibres and Nonwovens - Business Development Manager of...

Marten Alkhagen
Swerea IVF AB

Marten Alkhagen, Senior Scientist - Nonwoven and Technical Textiles of...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Igor Chapurin
Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Pranav Mishra
Huemn

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

September 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
74.5%
No
12.8%
Skip
12.8%

Total Votes: 47

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.7%
No
25.5%
Skip
12.8%

Total Votes: 47

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
87.2%
No
6.4%
Skip
6.4%

Total Votes: 47

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
70.2%
No
10.6%
Skip
19.1%

Total Votes: 47


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search