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Origin and evolution of Chinese waxy maize: evidence from the Globulin-1 gene

Tian, Mengliang, Tan, Gongxie, Liu, Yongjian, Rong, Tingzhao, Huang, Yubi
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2009 v.56 no.2 pp. 247-255
Tripsacum dactyloides, Zea diploperennis, Zea mays subsp. mays, Zea perennis, cultivars, evolution, flint corn, genes, loci, mutation, nucleotide sequences, seed storage, waxy corn, China
Waxy maize is a special type of cultivated maize and has grown in China for long history. However, the evolution and origin of waxy maize still remain unknown. We analyzed the origin and evolution of waxy maize by sampling DNA sequences from four taxa with eight populations: waxy maize and other maize cultivars from Southwest China or America (Zea mays L. ssp. mays), parviglumis (Z. mays L. ssp. parviglumis Iltis et Doebley), three more distant species within this genus (Z. luxurians (Durieu et Ascherson) Bird, Zea perennis (Hitchcock) Reeves et Mangelsdorf, and Zea diploperennis Iltis, Doebley et Guzman), and a representative of sister genus (Tripsacum dactyloides L.). We sequenced 20 sequences and downloaded 26 sequences from NCBI for the glb1 locus, which encodes a nonessential seed storage protein. Within the Zea genus samples, the waxy maize has the minimum sequence diversity, which contains 31.1% of the level of diversity of parviglumis and 58.5% of the level of diversity of normal maize from Southwest China. Sequence variation within glb1 locus is consistent with neutral evolution in all four taxa according to Tajima'D test. From the NJ tree for glb1 sequences waxy maize formed two main groups which are intermixed with normal maize sequences. These results suggest that the Chinese waxy maize originate from a single gene mutation from normal maize. Combined with the history of maize dispersal in China we can even think that Chinese waxy maize was divergenced from Chinese flint maize.