Evolution of crop species: genetics of domestication and diversification

Nat Rev Genet. 2013 Dec;14(12):840-52. doi: 10.1038/nrg3605.


Domestication is a good model for the study of evolutionary processes because of the recent evolution of crop species (<12,000 years ago), the key role of selection in their origins, and good archaeological and historical data on their spread and diversification. Recent studies, such as quantitative trait locus mapping, genome-wide association studies and whole-genome resequencing studies, have identified genes that are associated with the initial domestication and subsequent diversification of crops. Together, these studies reveal the functions of genes that are involved in the evolution of crops that are under domestication, the types of mutations that occur during this process and the parallelism of mutations that occur in the same pathways and proteins, as well as the selective forces that are acting on these mutations and that are associated with geographical adaptation of crop species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Flow
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Zea mays / genetics