Main content area

The extent of adaptive wild introgression in crops

Janzen, Garrett M., Wang, Li, Hufford, Matthew B.
Thenew phytologist 2019 v.221 no.3 pp. 1279-1288
alleles, crops, domestication, environmental factors, evolution, gene flow, haplotypes, introgression, wild relatives
The study of crop evolution has focused primarily on the process of initial domestication. Post‚Äźdomestication adaptation during the expansion of crops from their centers of origin has received considerably less attention. Recent research has revealed that, in at least some instances, crops have received introgression from their wild relatives that has facilitated adaptation to novel conditions encountered during expansion. Such adaptive introgression could have an important impact on the basic study of domestication, affecting estimates of several evolutionary processes of interest (e.g. the strength of the domestication bottleneck, the timing of domestication, the targets of selection during domestication). Identification of haplotypes introgressed from the wild may also help in the identification of alleles that are beneficial under particular environmental conditions. Here we review mounting evidence for substantial adaptive wild introgression in several crops and consider the implications of such gene flow to our understanding of crop histories.