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Research Project: Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits in Maize

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Genomic estimation of complex traits reveals ancient maize adaptation to temperate North America

Author
item SWARTZ, KELLY - Cornell University - New York
item GUTAKER, RAFAL - Max Planck Institute Of Molecular Plant Physiology
item BENZ, BRUCE - Texas Wesleyan University
item BLAKE, MICHAEL - University Of British Columbia
item BUKOWSKI, ROBERT - Cornell University - New York
item Holland, Jim - Jim
item KRUSE-PEEPLES, MELISSA - Native Seeds/search
item Lepak, Nicholas
item PRIM, LYNDA - Native Seeds/search
item ROMAY, MARIA - Cornell University - New York
item ROSS-IBARRA, JEFFREY - University Of California, Davis
item SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ, JOSE DE JESUS - University Of Guadalajara
item SCHMIDT, CHRIS - Native Seeds/search
item SCHUENEMANN, VERENA - University Of Tubingen
item KRAUSE, JOHANNES - University Of Tubingen
item MATSON, R - University Of North British Columbia
item WEIGEL, DETLEF - Max Planck Institute Of Molecular Plant Physiology
item Buckler, Edward - Ed
item BURBANO, HERNAN - Max Planck Institute Of Molecular Plant Physiology

Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/29/2017
Publication Date: 8/4/2017
Citation: Swartz, K., Gutaker, R.M., Benz, B., Blake, M., Bukowski, R., Holland, J.B., Kruse-Peeples, M., Lepak, N.K., Prim, L., Romay, M.C., Ross-Ibarra, J., Sanchez-Gonzalez, J., Schmidt, C., Schuenemann, V.J., Krause, J., Matson, R.G., Weigel, D., Buckler IV, E.S., Burbano, H.A. 2017. Genomic estimation of complex traits reveals ancient maize adaptation to temperate North America. Science. 357:512-515.

Interpretive Summary: By 4000 years ago, people had introduced maize to the southwestern United States; full agriculture was established quickly in the lowland deserts but delayed in the temperate highlands for 2000 years. We test if the earliest upland maize was adapted for early flowering, a characteristic of modern temperate maize. We sequenced fifteen 1900-year-old maize cobs from Turkey Pen Shelter in the temperate Southwest. Indirectly validated genomic models predicted that Turkey Pen maize was marginally adapted with respect to flowering, as well as short, tillering, and segregating for yellow kernel color. Temperate adaptation was key to the spread of maize in North America and our results indicate that ancient farmers in the Southwestern USA selected for earlier flowering corn more than 2000 years ago.

Technical Abstract: By 4000 years ago, people had introduced maize to the southwestern United States; full agriculture was established quickly in the lowland deserts but delayed in the temperate highlands for 2000 years. We test if the earliest upland maize was adapted for early flowering, a characteristic of modern temperate maize. We sequenced fifteen 1900-year-old maize cobs from Turkey Pen Shelter in the temperate Southwest. Indirectly validated genomic models predicted that Turkey Pen maize was marginally adapted with respect to flowering, as well as short, tillering, and segregating for yellow kernel color. Temperate adaptation drove modern population differentiation and was selected in situ from ancient standing variation. Validated prediction of polygenic traits improves our understanding of ancient phenotypes and the dynamics of environmental adaptation.