Although in most of the lowland tropics the upper crust may hold vegetable amaranths in low esteem, in Caribbean nations the whole society honors these plants. The humble leaves are important ingredients in Caribbean cooking, especially in the famous regional favorite known as callaloo, which is normally a gumbo-like stew or a spinach-like vegetable dish that often features the texture of Africa’s okra (see ). Callaloo is so central to the diet that it has become almost synonymous with the Caribbean image. The word has entered everyday talk as a word denoting the unique blending of food, language, music, and peoples constituting Creole culture. The name callaloo is appended to restaurants, magazines, shows, songs, bands, books, and more. It is an appellation bestowed with pride.
Horticultural Development Selection and crossbreeding is one area that could bring rapid advances. Amaranthus species demonstrate high levels of variability in leaf size, leaf shape, branching, bolting pattern, growth and regrowth ability, and color. Indeed, the vast wide geographical spread of the genus has produced many landraces, and in their present undeveloped state amaranths offer more genetic diversity than do many much better understood crops. The huge gene pool in widely separated areas can be tapped for the future development of the crop. This is an excellent genus as well as an excellent time in history for plant explorers and local plant lovers to get engaged.
Amaranth Rediscovered - Horticulture
Amaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell. This weedy species is a green vegetable of West Africa and the Caribbean, and is found in Java and other parts of Indonesia as a home garden crop. One of its best varieties, the cultivar ‘Klaroen,’ is particularly popular in Suriname and has been introduced in Benin and Nigeria. This fast growing, high yielding plant has distinctive dark-green, broad, ridged leaves and is considered very palatable. It is the only known tetraploid (2n=64) in the genus.
Control of photosynthesis by PEP carboxylase in leaves …
This year?s seeds become next year?s weeds! Effective weed management means removing all Palmer amaranth plants from a field before they reach reproductive maturity to prevent seed production. Winter cover crops that provide sufficient amounts of biomass can be used to suppress Palmer amaranth in strip tillage operations. Cover crops shelter the seeds from sunlight and physically interfere with seedling emergence. When heavy infestations exist, moldboard plowing may be required to bury seed below their optimal germination/emergence zone. Deep tillage operations should only be used infrequently so that the deeply buried seeds can die and decompose.
Photosynthetic inhibition and ammonium accumulation …
Many of the more than fifty Amaranthus species in both tropical and temperate regions are eaten, but only a dozen or so can be considered domesticated.
HS944/HS186: Allelopathy: How Plants Suppress Other …
AB - A mutant of the C4 plant, Amaranthus edulis, which lacks the C4 form of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), has been generated In Lancaster. This has been used to generate heterozygous plants with a range of activities of PEPC which have been employed to analyse the degree of control over photosynthetlc CO2 assimilation that Is exercised by PEPC. This is the first time that control analysis has been done In a C4 plant. Heterozygous plants showed no change In the contents of soluble protein, chlorophyll, or NAD-mallc enzyme. A reduction In PEPC activity led to a decrease In the carboxylatlon efficiency and to larger decreases In the rate of photosynthetlc C02 fixation at lower C02 concentrations and at higher light Intensities. Examples of control coefficients (CPEPC) ranged from 0.26 in Wt in air (Ci 130) to 0.54 in low CO2 (Cl 30) to 1.00 In 45* PEPC in low CO2> I.e. unusually high In the wild-type for a highly regulated enzyme such as PEPC. There was also some evidence that below 5O5K PEPC there may be some compensating mechanism operating to reduce the effect of the loss in PEPC protein.