The evolutionary history of the Malus genus has not been well studied. In the current study, we presented genetic evidence on the origin of the Malus genus based on genome sequencing of 297 Malus accessions, revealing the genetic relationship between wild species and cultivated apples. Our results demonstrated that North American and East Asian wild species are closer to the outgroup (pear) than Central Asian species, and hybrid species including natural (separated before the Pleistocene, about 2.5 Mya) and artificial hybrids (including ornamental trees and rootstocks) are between East and Central Asian wild species. Introgressions from M. sylvestris in cultivated apples appeared to be more extensive than those from M. sieversii, whose genetic background flowed westward across Eurasia and eastward to wild species including M. prunifolia, M. × asiatica, M. × micromalus, and M. × robust. Our results suggested that the loss of ancestral gene flow from M. sieversii in cultivated apples accompanied the movement of European traders around the world since the Age of Discovery. Natural SNP variations showed that cultivated apples had higher nucleotide diversity than wild species and more unique SNPs than other apple groups. An apple ERECTA-like gene that underwent selection during domestication on 15th chromosome was identified as a likely major determinant of fruit length and diameter, and an NB-ARC domain-containing gene was found to strongly affect anthocyanin accumulation using a genome-wide association approach. Our results provide new insights into the origin and domestication of apples and will be useful in new breeding programmes and efforts to increase fruit crop productivity.

Chen, P.; Li, Z.; Zhang, D.; Shen, W.; Xie, Y.; Zhang, J.; Jiang, L.; Li, X.; Shen, X.; Geng, D.; Wang, L.; Niu, C.; Bao, C.; Yan, M.; Li, H.; Li, C.; Yan, Y.; Zou, Y.; Micheletti, D.; Koot, E.; Ma, F.; Guan, Q. (2021). Insights into the effect of human civilization on Malus evolution and domestication. PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 19 (11): 2206-2220. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13648 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/72054

Insights into the effect of human civilization on Malus evolution and domestication

Micheletti, Diego;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The evolutionary history of the Malus genus has not been well studied. In the current study, we presented genetic evidence on the origin of the Malus genus based on genome sequencing of 297 Malus accessions, revealing the genetic relationship between wild species and cultivated apples. Our results demonstrated that North American and East Asian wild species are closer to the outgroup (pear) than Central Asian species, and hybrid species including natural (separated before the Pleistocene, about 2.5 Mya) and artificial hybrids (including ornamental trees and rootstocks) are between East and Central Asian wild species. Introgressions from M. sylvestris in cultivated apples appeared to be more extensive than those from M. sieversii, whose genetic background flowed westward across Eurasia and eastward to wild species including M. prunifolia, M. × asiatica, M. × micromalus, and M. × robust. Our results suggested that the loss of ancestral gene flow from M. sieversii in cultivated apples accompanied the movement of European traders around the world since the Age of Discovery. Natural SNP variations showed that cultivated apples had higher nucleotide diversity than wild species and more unique SNPs than other apple groups. An apple ERECTA-like gene that underwent selection during domestication on 15th chromosome was identified as a likely major determinant of fruit length and diameter, and an NB-ARC domain-containing gene was found to strongly affect anthocyanin accumulation using a genome-wide association approach. Our results provide new insights into the origin and domestication of apples and will be useful in new breeding programmes and efforts to increase fruit crop productivity.
Malus
Apple
Sequencing
Evolution
Domestication
Settore AGR/07 - GENETICA AGRARIA
2021
Chen, P.; Li, Z.; Zhang, D.; Shen, W.; Xie, Y.; Zhang, J.; Jiang, L.; Li, X.; Shen, X.; Geng, D.; Wang, L.; Niu, C.; Bao, C.; Yan, M.; Li, H.; Li, C.; Yan, Y.; Zou, Y.; Micheletti, D.; Koot, E.; Ma, F.; Guan, Q. (2021). Insights into the effect of human civilization on Malus evolution and domestication. PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 19 (11): 2206-2220. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13648 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/72054
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