Genetics and Consequences of Crop Domestication

Flint-Garcia SA

Task Force #12

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2013;61(35):8267-8276

Abstract: Phenotypic variation has been manipulated by humans during crop domestication, which occurred primarily between 3000 and 10000 years ago in the various centers of origin around the world. The process of domestication has profound consequences on crops, where the domesticate has moderately reduced genetic diversity relative to the wild ancestor across the genome, and severely reduced diversity for genes targeted by domestication. The question that remains is whether reduction in genetic diversity has affected crop production today. A case study in maize (Zea mays) demonstrates the application of understanding relationships between genetic diversity and phenotypic diversity in the wild ancestor and the domesticate. As an outcrossing species, maize has tremendous genetic variation. The complementary combination of genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) approaches, large HapMap data sets, and germplasm resources is leading to important discoveries of the relationship between genetic diversity and phenotypic variation and the impact of domestication on trait variation.

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