Author(s): Griffith MP
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Abstract Opuntia ficus-indica is a long-domesticated cactus crop that is important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. The biogeographic and evolutionary origins of this species have been obscured through ancient and widespread cultivation and naturalization. The origin of O. ficus-indica is investigated through the use of Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of nrITS DNA sequences. These analyses support the following hypotheses: that O. ficus-indica is a close relative of a group of arborescent, fleshy-fruited prickly pears from central and southern Mexico; that the center of domestication for this species is in central Mexico; and that the taxonomic concept of O. ficus-indica may include clones derived from multiple lineages and therefore be polyphyletic.
This article was published in Am J Bot
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy