News of the WeekInsect Genetics

Sequencing 40 Silkworm Genomes Unravels History of Cultivation

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Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1058-1059
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1058a

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Archeological evidence points to China domesticating silkworms more than 5000 years ago. But the details are elusive and still debated. Was silkworm domestication a long, slow process that gradually emerged throughout the country and its variety of ecological backgrounds? Or was it a one-time event that took place quickly and in a limited geographic area?

  • * With reporting by Elizabeth Pennisi.