Post-domestication selection in the maize starch pathway uri icon

abstract

  • Modern crops have usually experienced domestication selection and subsequent genetic improvement (post-domestication selection). Chinese waxy maize, which originated from non-glutinous domesticated maize (Zea mays ssp. mays), provides a unique model for investigating the post-domestication selection of maize. In this study, the genetic diversity of six key genes in the starch pathway was investigated in a glutinous population that included 55 Chinese waxy accessions, and a selective bottleneck that resulted in apparent reductions in diversity in Chinese waxy maize was observed. Significant positive selection in waxy (wx) but not amylose extender1 (ae1) was detected in the glutinous population, in complete contrast to the findings in non-glutinous maize, which indicated a shift in the selection target from ae1 to wx during the improvement of Chinese waxy maize. Our results suggest that an agronomic trait can be quickly improved into a target trait with changes in the selection target among genes in a crop pathway

publication date

  • 2009