On Maize and the Sunflower

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Science  22 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5525, pp. 2260-2261
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062689

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Agriculture is believed to have arisen independently in six to eight independent centers, including both hemispheres of the Americas. In her Perspective, Piperno discusses recent work, which indicates that maize was domesticated at least 7100 years ago in tropical Mexico, 1000 years earlier than previous data indicated. The sunflower also seems to have been domesticated in Mexico, as well as in eastern North America. Molecular evidence is required to establish the origin of the sunflower with greater certainty.