Parallel selection on a dormancy gene during domestication of crops from multiple families

Nat Genet. 2018 Oct;50(10):1435-1441. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0229-2. Epub 2018 Sep 24.


Domesticated species often exhibit convergent phenotypic evolution, termed the domestication syndrome, of which loss of seed dormancy is a component. To date, dormancy genes that contribute to parallel domestication across different families have not been reported. Here, we cloned the classical stay-green G gene from soybean and found that it controls seed dormancy and showed evidence of selection during soybean domestication. Moreover, orthologs in rice and tomato also showed evidence of selection during domestication. Analysis of transgenic plants confirmed that orthologs of G had conserved functions in controlling seed dormancy in soybean, rice, and Arabidopsis. Functional investigation demonstrated that G affected seed dormancy through interactions with NCED3 and PSY and in turn modulated abscisic acid synthesis. Therefore, we identified a gene responsible for seed dormancy that has been subject to parallel selection in multiple crop families. This may help facilitate the domestication of new crops.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Crops, Agricultural / growth & development
  • Domestication*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / growth & development
  • Plant Breeding
  • Plant Development / genetics
  • Plant Dormancy / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Sequence Homology
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics
  • Solanum lycopersicum / growth & development
  • Soybeans / genetics
  • Soybeans / growth & development