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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISSECTING COMPLEX TRAITS IN MAIZE AND BIOFUEL GRASSES BY APPLYING GENOMICS, BIOINFORMATICS, AND GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Tracking footprints of maize domestication and evidence for a massive selective sweep on chromosome 10

Authors
item BUCKLER, EDWARD
item Tian, Feng -
item Stevens, Natalie -

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2009
Publication Date: June 15, 2009
Citation: Buckler IV, E.S., Tian, F., Stevens, N.M. 2009. Tracking footprints of maize domestication and evidence for a massive selective sweep on chromosome 10. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106:9979-9986

Interpretive Summary: Maize domestication is one of the greatest feats of artificial selection and evolution, wherein a weedy plant in Central Mexico was converted through human-mediated selection into the most productive crop in the world. In fact, the changes were so astounding that it took much of the last century to identify modern maize’s true ancestor. Through modern genetic studies, the molecular basis of this evolution is being unraveled. Maize’s new morphology and adaptation to diverse environments required selection at thousands of loci, and we are beginning to understand the magnitude and rates of these genetic changes. Most of the known major genes have experienced strong selection, but only small regions surrounding the selected genes exhibit substantially reduced genetic diversity. Here, we report the discovery of a large region on chromosome 10 involved in adaptation or domestication that has been the target of strong selection during maize domestication. This loss of diversity at so many genes limits the useful genetic variation in this region of the genome and the ability of maize to adapt in the future. Future studies will be required to determine the ubiquity of this paper.

Technical Abstract: Maize domestication is one of the greatest feats of artificial selection and evolution, wherein a weedy plant in Central Mexico was converted through human-mediated selection into the most productive crop in the world. In fact, the changes were so astounding that it took much of the last century to identify modern maize’s true ancestor. Through modern genetic studies, the molecular basis of this evolution is being unraveled. Maize’s new morphology and adaptation to diverse environments required selection at thousands of loci, and we are beginning to understand the magnitude and rates of these genetic changes. Most of the known major genes have experienced strong selection, but only small regions surrounding the selected genes exhibit substantially reduced genetic diversity. Here, we report the discovery of a large region on chromosome 10 involved in adaptation or domestication that has been the target of strong selection during maize domestication. Unlike previously described regions in the maize genome, 1.1 Mb and >15 genes lost genetic diversity during selection at this region. Finally, the prospects of a detailed understanding of maize evolution are discussed with consideration of both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014