Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2022, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (2): 153-156.DOI: 10.11983/CBB22054

• COMMENTARY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Gold Will Glitter Wherever it is: Convergent Selection in Maize and Rice

Hong Yu1,2, Jiayang Li1,2,*()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Innovation Academy for Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2022-03-19 Accepted:2022-03-21 Online:2022-03-01 Published:2022-03-24
  • Contact: Jiayang Li

Abstract: Domestication of wild plants was crucial for human settlement and the development of civilization, which arose independently in many different geographic areas on different wild species. However, these crops underwent variant domestication process displaying the ‘domestication syndrome’ with a common suite of traits. The systematical analysis of convergent selection at genome level may provide important information and genetic resources for crop breeding. Recently, a team led by Xiaohong Yang and Jiansheng Li from Chinese Agricultural University and Jianbing Yan from Huazhong Agricultural University reported the genetic basis of convergent selection between maize and rice at both single gene and whole genome levels. Particularly, they found the maize KRN2 and rice OsKRN2 genes experienced convergent selection and regulated grain number and yield in a similar pathway. Moreover, they identified a large number of orthologous gene pairs that underwent convergent selection during maize and rice evolution, which were enriched in certain pathways including starch metabolism, sugar and coenzyme synthesis. This significant work not only cloned KRN2/OsKRN2 orthologous gene pairs with great value in maize and rice breeding, but also revealed the convergent selection between maize and rice at the genome level, providing critical foundations for studying the molecular basis of domestication syndrome and their applications in breeding practices.

Key words: convergent selection, domestication, Oryza sativa, Zea mays, grain number