2021-06-25 Seminar Report

On 10 June 2021, our iTHEMS member Jeffrey Fawcett gave a talk about “the origin and dispersal of buckwheat” at the Biology Seminar. Jeffery works on or has worked on a broad range of topics related to genomics, evolution, genetics, bioinformatics, and systems biology. This time, he talked about his recent worldwide collaboration work using genomic data of wild samples from China (around Yunnan, Sichuan, and Tibet) and cultivated samples from various parts of the world to understand “when”, “where”, and “how” buckwheat originated and then spread across the world and came to Japan. He explained the significance of studying "domestication", which can contribute to research on evolution, molecular breeding and implications for human history. Buckwheat, which soba noodles is made from, is now such a familiar everyday life related plant in Japan. We are surprised how such a genomic approach about soba revealed the history of ancient world and Japan and gave us a hint about the origin of Japanese people. We are looking forward to further discovery of this interesting research topic.

Report by Yingying Xu

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