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    Agricultural weeds descended from domesticated ancestors, directly from crops (endoferality) and/or from crop-wild hybridization (exoferality), may have evolutionary advantages by rapidly acquiring traits pre-adapted to agricultural habitats. Understanding the role of crops on the origin and evolution of agricultural weeds is essential to develop more effective weed management programs, minimize crop losses due to weeds, and accurately assess the risks of cultivated genes escaping. In this review, we first describe relevant traits of weediness: shattering, seed dormancy, branching, early flowering and rapid growth, and their role in the feralization process. Furthermore, we discuss how the design of "super-crops" can affect weed evolution. We then searched for literature documenting cases of agricultural weeds descended from well-domesticated crops, and describe six case studies of feral weeds evolved from major crops: maize, radish, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, and sunflower. Further studies on the origin and evolution of feral weeds can improve our understanding of the physiological and genetic mechanisms underpinning the adaptation to agricultural habitats and may help to develop more effective weed-control practices and breeding better crops. © 2022 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2022 Society of Chemical Industry.


    Román B Vercellino, Fernando Hernández, Claudio Pandolfo, Soledad Ureta, Alejandro Presotto. Agricultural weeds: the contribution of domesticated species to the origin and evolution of feral weeds. Pest management science. 2023 Mar;79(3):922-934

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    PMID: 36507604

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