Patterns of population structure in maize landraces from the Central Valleys of Oaxaca in Mexico uri icon

abstract

  • Assessing the impact of farmer management of maize landraces in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico is crucial to an understanding of maize evolution, as it was first domesticated there. In this paper, we report on the impact of traditional farmer management of maize populations in this region in structuring molecular diversity and on the population dynamics of maize landraces. These populations, from a sample of local landraces cultivated by farmers in six villages, show little among-population differentiation (F-st = 0.011). Most surprisingly, there is no isolation by distance and small among-village differentiation (F-st = 0.003). For an outbreeding plant such as maize, one would expect populations to fit Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, but significant homozygote excess (F-is = 0.13) was found. This homozygote excess shows remarkable interpopulation and interlocus differences. We show that this pattern is related to variation in the mean anthesis-silking interval as well as to the flowering range or heterogeneity in flowering of a given population. A short anthesis-silking interval and high level of heterogeneity in flowering precocity will favor assortative mating. This leads to a locus-dependent population substructure giving an unusual case of Wahlund effect and inbreeding while high levels of seed exchange among farmers prevent population differentiation at both village and regional levels.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004