Domestication selected for deceleration of the circadian clock in cultivated tomato

Nat Genet. 2016 Jan;48(1):89-93. doi: 10.1038/ng.3447. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

Abstract

The circadian clock is a critical regulator of plant physiology and development, controlling key agricultural traits in crop plants. In addition, natural variation in circadian rhythms is important for local adaptation. However, quantitative modulation of circadian rhythms due to artificial selection has not yet been reported. Here we show that the circadian clock of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has slowed during domestication. Allelic variation of the tomato homolog of the Arabidopsis gene EID1 is responsible for a phase delay. Notably, the genomic region harboring EID1 shows signatures of a selective sweep. We find that the EID1 allele in cultivated tomatoes enhances plant performance specifically under long day photoperiods, suggesting that humans selected slower circadian rhythms to adapt the cultivated species to the long summer days it encountered as it was moved away from the equator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Circadian Clocks / genetics*
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development
  • Photoperiod
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Selection, Genetic*

Substances

  • Plant Proteins