Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Plants. 2015 Jan 8;1:14003. doi: 10.1038/nplants.2014.3.

The origin and evolution of maize in the Southwestern United States.

Author information

1
Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
The Bioinformatics Centre, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.
3
Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20560, USA.
4
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
5
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA.
6
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
7
Department of Ecology, Evolution, &Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, 50011, USA.
8
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala 752 36, Sweden.
9
Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala 752 36, Sweden.
10
Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, 15101 Arica, Chile.
11
Department of Integrative Biology and Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA.
12
Department of Plant Sciences, Center for Population Biology and Genome Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.
13
Trace and Environmental DNA Laboratory, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, 6102, Australia.

Abstract

The origin of maize (Zea mays mays) in the US Southwest remains contentious, with conflicting archaeological data supporting either coastal(1-4) or highland(5,6) routes of diffusion of maize into the United States. Furthermore, the genetics of adaptation to the new environmental and cultural context of the Southwest is largely uncharacterized(7). To address these issues, we compared nuclear DNA from 32 archaeological maize samples spanning 6,000 years of evolution to modern landraces. We found that the initial diffusion of maize into the Southwest about 4,000 years ago is likely to have occurred along a highland route, followed by gene flow from a lowland coastal maize beginning at least 2,000 years ago. Our population genetic analysis also enabled us to differentiate selection during domestication for adaptation to the climatic and cultural environment of the Southwest, identifying adaptation loci relevant to drought tolerance and sugar content.

PMID:
27246050
DOI:
10.1038/nplants.2014.3

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center