Depending on how the researchers calibrated their clock, the data point to an origin of domesticated rice around 8,200 years ago.
The study indicates that the sub-species split apart from each other about 3,900 years ago.
“This discovery challenges the accepted view about where rice originated and how it evolved,” said Professor Lee Yung-Jo of Chungbuk National University in Cheongju.
Carbonized rice grains, which were found near the Yellow River and Yangtze River in China and were considered to be the world’s oldest rice, were dated between 10,500 and 11,000 years ago, he explained.
However, the evidence remains controversial in the academic community.
Radioactive dating of the 59 grains of carbonised rice has pushed back the date for the earliest known cultivation of the plant.
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