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Theor Appl Genet. 2003 Jan;106(2):239-50. Epub 2002 Sep 7.

Asymmetry of gene flow and differential geographical structure of molecular diversity in wild and domesticated common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) from Mesoamerica.

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Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8515, USA.


Using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), we analyzed the genetic structure of wild and domesticated common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) from Mesoamerica at different geographical levels to test the hypothesis of asymmetric gene flow and investigate the origin of weedy populations. We showed both by phenetic and admixture population analyses that gene flow is about three- to four-fold higher from domesticated to wild populations than in the reverse direction. This result, combined with other work, points to a displacement of genetic diversity in wild populations due to gene flow from the domesticated populations. The weedy populations appear to be genetically intermediate between domesticated and wild populations, suggesting that they originated by hybridization between wild and domesticated types rather than by escape from cultivation. In addition, the domesticated bean races were genetically similar confirming a single domestication event for the Mesoamerican gene pool. Finally, the genetic diversity of the domesticated bean population showed a lower level of geographic structure in comparison to that of the wild populations.

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