This indicates that the storage root was an already-existing trait that predisposed the plant for cultivation and not solely the result of human domestication, as previously thought. This discovery, published today in Nature Plants, is part of a comprehensive monographic study of the morning glories, the biggest study of this group of plants to date, which also contributes important insights to the taxonomy and evolution of this megadiverse group of plants.
The researchers also discovered that sweet potato is not the only species of morning glory that produces storage roots. In fact at least 62 other species in the group also produce these underground organs, some of them as big as those of the sweet potato and many also edible.
Author: –Oxford University via EurekAlert!