Danielle Wilson-day 4

Today we visited the life sciences division at the University of Guanajuato at the Irapuato-Salamca campus. We met a few of the students from the university. We had a lecture on three different endemic plants of Mexico. They were agave, mesquite and cactus.
Mexico is the center of origin of the agave plant. We visited the agave center at the university as well as the national agave collection. There are 276 different types of species of agave. Agave grows well in very hot and dry conditions and doesn’t need water. There are many use of agave including, food, medicine, tequila, mescal, burning, ornamental, and forage. We were able to try some of the juice that the agave produces. Below is a picture of professor Louis getting samples for us. There are two purposes of agave and they are to collect and conserve species preserving the agave genome, and to promote different uses of different species of agave. Only one percent of the agave growing in Mexico is the type for tequila.
Mesquite is the most important plant in central Mexico. Throughout the U.S. and Mexico there are 12 species. There are 46 species throughout the world. They tolerate dryness and do not need water. Mesquites are very important for the ecosystem as well as good for the soil erosion. The main uses of mesquite is for wood, construction, special honey production, and forage.
The cactus is originated in Mexico. In America, there are 1,600 species. Sixty percent of these species came from Mexico. Researchers believe that cacti are morning toward becoming endangered. Over 85 years, the population is said to have doubled.

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