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Genetics. 2008 Jun;179(2):965-76. doi: 10.1534/genetics.106.068072. Epub 2008 May 27.

Nonindependent domestication of the two rice subspecies, Oryza sativa ssp. indica and ssp. japonica, demonstrated by multilocus microsatellites.

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Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, People's Republic of China.


The origins of the Asian cultivated rice Oryza sativa from its wild ancestor O. rufipogon have been debated for decades. The question mainly concerns whether it originated monophyletically or polyphyletically. To shed light on the origins and demographic history of rice domestication, we genotyped a total of 92 individual plants from the two O. sativa subspecies and O. rufipogon for 60 microsatellites. An approximate Bayesian method was applied to estimate demographic parameters for O. rufipogon vs. O. sativa ssp. indica and O. rufipogon vs. O. sativa ssp. japonica. We showed that the japonica subspecies suffered a more severe bottleneck than the indica subspecies and thus a greater loss of genetic variation during its domestication. Across microsatellite loci there is a significant positive correlation in the reduction of genetic diversity between the two subspecies. The results suggest that completely independent domestication of indica and japonica subspecies may not explain our data and that there is at least partial sharing of their ancestral populations and/or recent gene flow between them.

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