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Chapter 14 Family Amaryllidaceae, Subfamily Allioideae

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Family Amaryllidaceae, Subfamily


Origin and History

Onion originated in Middle Asia and was domesticated in what are today Afghanistan, Iran, and

Pakistan. Onion is a very ancient crop and has been under widespread cultivation dating back to as early as 600 bc. Onions were a popular food of the

Greeks and Romans as early as 400–300 bc and were introduced into northern Europe about ad

500 at the start of the Middle Ages (Zohary and

Hopf, 2000). Production occurs worldwide but the greatest concentration is in the northern hemisphere. In the tropics and much of Southeast Asia unfavorable climate and handling conditions limit onion production so shallots are preferred. Shallots are believed to be native to Asia, explaining their popularity in this region.

Garlic is believed to be of middle Asian origin with a history of human use of over 7,000 years

(Ensminger, 1994). The culture of garlic parallels that of onion. Greek author Homer mentioned garlic in the ninth century bc (Zohary and Hopf,

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Chapter 10 Family Cucurbitaceae

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Family Cucurbitaceae

Origin and History

The cucurbits are largely tropical in origin with different genera originating in Africa, tropical

America, and Southeast Asia. Commercial cucurbits are primarily herbaceous annuals that produce distinctive tendril-bearing vines and are commonly grown in temperate regions with long growing seasons. Some are adapted to humid conditions while others are found in arid regions. Most are frostintolerant although some species are more tolerant of low temperature than others.


The Cucurbitaceae family is well defined but taxonomically isolated from other plant families. The family Cucurbitaceae consists of about 120 genera and more than 800 species. Two subfamilies,

Zanonioideae and Cucurbitoideae, are well characterized: the former by small, striate pollen grains and the latter by styles united into a single column. The food plants all fall within the subfamily Cucurbitoideae and belong to two tribes: the Cucurbiteae and Sicyoideae (Maynard and Maynard, 2000).

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Chapter 9 Vegetable Safety

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Vegetable Safety

Pesticide Residues

Monoculture production systems were established over 100 years ago to allow greater mechanization to help farmers grow larger acreages with less labor.

Monoculture systems are more prone to pest outbreaks because the ecological balance is disturbed

(Altieri, 1999). To counter outbreaks of harmful insects, plant diseases, and weeds that occur in monoculture production systems, pesticides were developed to provide control by spraying with minimal labor. Pesticide usage increased steadily from the 1940s through the 1970s as new chemicals were developed for pest control for a wide variety of reasons (MacIntyre, 1987). However, by the 1970s and 1980s, there was increasing public concern about pesticide residues on vegetables and their negative effects on human health. A series of high profile cases that resulted in serious illness and death were traced to pesticide residues on vegetables and focused public attention on this issue. For example, poisoning caused by improper use of the chemical aldicarb (Temik) 2-methyl-2-(methylthio) propionaldehyde-O-(methylcarbomoyl)oxime caused illness after eating contaminated watermelons and cucumbers (Goes et al., 1980; Green and Wehr, 1987). The largest pesticide-related foodborne outbreak in the

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Chapter 8 Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production

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Organic and Sustainable Vegetable



Background of conventional and organic systems

Organic vegetable production is often considered as an alternative to what is variously called high input

“conventional” farming, “modern” agriculture, or

“traditional” farming. Actually, organic production pre-dates the advent of modern vegetable production.

World War II caused many to realize that food was a strategic resource. Limited manpower and the need to maximize food production during the war lead to agricultural research and policies that accelerated the ascendancy of “modern” agrichemical systems of crop production that began in the early 1900s (Welbaum et al., 2004). The new technologies included synthetic concentrated fertilizers, mechanization and chemical weed control to increase production efficiencies.

Another part of this system was the development of plant cultivars that were increasingly more dependent upon the support of agrichemistry in the subsequent post-war period (Welbaum et al., 2004).

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Chapter 20 Family Fabaceae

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Family Fabaceae


Origin and History

Fabaceae, also known as the legume, pea, or bean family, is large and economically important.

Fabaceae is the third-largest plant family, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species (Stevens, 2012).

The family was known as Leguminosae for many years but was redesignated Fabaceae in the

1980s. Members are often simply referred to as legumes.

The common bean dates back approximately

7,000 years ago based on radiocarbon dating.

Singh et al. (1991) identified two distinct gene pools of common bean, one of Andean origin and the other in Central America and Mexico. The primary center of origin for bean is southern Mexico and warm regions of Guatemala, while the second center is in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. In the wild, the common bean is found in both low and high elevations as well as dry and humid locations.

European explorers spread the New World bean

(Phaseolus sp.), especially P. vulgaris, to other regions where they were quickly adapted and rapidly accepted (Zohary and Hopf, 2000).

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