HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » 52-million-year-old relat...

Mon Jan 9, 2017, 11:07 PM

52-million-year-old relative of potatoes and tomatoes discovered in Patagonia It's older than the An

52-million-year-old relative of potatoes and tomatoes discovered in Patagonia
It's older than the Andes.
FIONA MACDONALD 9 JAN 2017





Researchers have discovered two fossils in South America of a fruit that dates back to around 52 million years ago.

The fossils could be the key to understanding how some of the most common plants today - including potatoes and tomatoes - evolved. And it turns out their genetic history might be a whole lot older than we thought.

The fossilised fruit is a berry that belongs to the Solanaceae (or nightshade) family of plants, which includes popular species such as potatoes, tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, and tobacco.

Despite how ubiquitous these plants are today all across the globe, their early history has remained mysterious, with only a few seeds found in the fossil record. So until now, we had no idea where they came from, or when.

More:
http://www.sciencealert.com/52-million-year-old-relative-of-potatoes-and-tomatoes-discovered-in-patagonia

11 replies, 4571 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply 52-million-year-old relative of potatoes and tomatoes discovered in Patagonia It's older than the An (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 9 OP
DFW Jan 10 #1
MatthewStLouis Jan 11 #2
mainer Jan 11 #3
Nay Jan 16 #11
burrowowl Jan 11 #4
NRaleighLiberal Jan 13 #5
LeftishBrit Jan 13 #7
NRaleighLiberal Jan 13 #8
lunatica Jan 13 #6
Bohunk68 Jan 16 #9
lunatica Jan 16 #10

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2017, 01:00 PM

1. I can't see what's inside the dried leaves

But it looks like what Germans today call Physalis. They are a tart, slightly bitter fruit, in size slightly smaller than a cherry.

They are an expensive delicacy in Germany, but in the Andes, my breakfast table was piled high with them, as if they were the common form of edible plant there was.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 12:42 PM

2. Interesting.

This plant looks similar to the Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi). Growing up in Southwest Missouri, I always thought the whole plant was poisonous. But, apparently, the berry is edible. Cool!

P.S. As a warning, I just found this as well: "The leaves and immature berries are also poisonous, so they should not be grown where they might endanger small children." (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-chinese-lantern-flower-bloom-96591.html)


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MatthewStLouis (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 04:44 PM

3. Chinese lanterns look like tomatillo plants

Maybe related to tomatoes after all?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mainer (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 16, 2017, 05:54 PM

11. Those do look like Chinese lantern husks, for sure. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 11:32 PM

4. K&R

Fascinating!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 02:26 PM

5. beats the oldest heirloom in my collection, that's for sure!

My oldest tomato probably traces back to the 1880. Which is still pretty cool. But - wow!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 07:35 PM

7. Thought of you and your tomatoes when I saw the thread title!

How is everything going?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 10:32 PM

8. Going fine, thanks - hope all is well with you too!

Gearing up in a big way - working on my third book, getting ready to start a busy year of travel and talks, garden planning - the election outcome (and all since then politically) is what has me down these days...life aside from that is just fine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 03:45 PM

6. they look like the tomatillo or small green tomato sleeve-like cover

The tomatillo has a crisp gauze like covering that you peel back to get to the tomato

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lunatica (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 16, 2017, 06:39 AM

9. Exactly what I thought when I saw them.

When we had a greenhouse business, we used to sell tomatillo starters. Had several regular customers for them. Even would get some folks who had driven for miles because they heard that we had them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 16, 2017, 10:10 AM

10. It's my favorite tomato for a great green sauce to cook in

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread