Revision of the Genus Artocarpus (Moraceae)

jackfruit market

With a National Science Foundation grant, the Chicago Botanic Garden is working with international collaborators in Southeast Asia to study the distribution and evolution of an economically important group of plants. With approximately 70 species, Artocarpus is the third largest genus in the plant family that contains figs and mulberries (Moraceae). Artocarpus contains numerous economically important species (grown for timber and fruit) native to Southeast Asia. Two species, jackfruit and breadfruit, are cultivated throughout the tropics. By collecting location data, herbarium samples, and DNA from plants, the goal of this project is to produce a comprehensive taxonomic revision of Artocarpus with discussion of character evolution and ecology, distribution maps, identification keys, and online access to an image database. Information on breadfruit and jackfruit origins and cultivar diversity also will be included in the revision. In 2014, work on the project focused on analysis of DNA and morphological data as well as botanical illustrations (Zerega, Williams, Gardner, and outside collaborators).