coriander fruit

Coriander seed halves. Domesticated (left) and wild (right)

Wild coriander Hanadiv Gardens

Coriander fruits on the plant זרעי גד השדה על צמח ברמת הנדיב

coriander flowers

Coriander flowers

Coriander diversity panel field

Coriander diversity panel (IGB funding) project at Newe-Ya'ar

Coriander, Coriandrum Sativum L., is a crop grown around the world for culinary uses, for cosmetics and essential oil industry, and as a medicinal plant. Sometimes called cilantro, coriander is an aromatic crop of the Apiaceae family. The leaves are a popular fresh herb having a unique and distinguishable aroma, and the dry seeds are important spice being the main ingredient in the Indian Curry powder. 

  • Aroma. A mutation in an olfactory bulb receptor is plausibly responsible for coriander haters and lovers people. This receptor recognizes the volatile aldehydes accumulated in the coriander green tissues. These are C10 and C12 straight-chain volatiles that accumulated uniquely in coriander and a handful of other plants. Their biosynthesis is unknown and we are trying to elucidate the active pathways. 

  • Genomics. From Tutankhamun’s tomb to your favorite dish – which traits led to coriander domestication. The existence of wild coriander that differs significantly from the cultivated genotypes was questioned until recently. We have found that wild coriander growing in Israel having discrete characters from cultivated accessions. We are trying to understand the domestication and improvement bottlenecks to examine the traits that shaped this crop as we know it today. Was it first grown for its leaves or seeds?