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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Yamasaki, Masanori
item Bi, Irie Vroh
item Schroeder, Steve
item Gaut, Brandon
item Doebley, John
item Mcmullen, Michael

Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2003
Publication Date: 1/15/2004
Citation: Yamasaki, M., Bi, I., Schroeder, S., Gaut, B.S., Doebley, J.F., Mcmullen, M.D. 2004. Candidate genes for domestication and agronomic traits in maize [abstract]. Plant and Animal Genome Conference.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Crop species have experienced strong selection at genes controlling traits of agronomic importance during their domestication. These selection sweeps can markedly reduce genetic diversity in the target genes whereas non-selected genes retain higher levels of diversity. Maize (Zea mays spp. mays) and its wild progenitor, teosinte (Zea mays spp. parviglumis) differ in many aspects of plant morphology and productivity. We have developed a systematic approach to identify genes responsible for maize domestication. Our approach involves contrasting the sequence diversity of genes in inbred lines of maize to that in landraces and teosintes. A segment of 1200 genes was sequenced in 14 maize inbreds. Thirty-six genes that exhibited very low genetic diversity in maize inbreds were also sequenced in a diverse set of landrace and teosinte accessions. Several genes with low sequence diversity in maize inbreds and landraces have normal levels of sequence diversity in teosinte. These genes are candidates for roles in maize domestication and may also control agronomically important traits. Paradoxically, the genes that have undergone the greatest selection have the least genetic variation remaining to contribute to crop improvement by standard crop breeding approachs. These genes are, however, prime candidates for manipulation by transgenic approaches. Genomic scans for signatures of selection offer a systematic approach to identifying genes of agronomic importance even when gene function and the phenotype of interest are unknown.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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