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Population-based resequencing revealed an ancestral winter group of cultivated flax: Implication for flax domestication processes

Fu, Y.B. (2012). Population-based resequencing revealed an ancestral winter group of cultivated flax: Implication for flax domestication processes, 2(3), 622-635. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.101

Abstract

Cultivated flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is the earliest oil and fiber crop and its early domestication history may involve multiple events of domestication for oil, fiber, capsular indehiscence, and winter hardiness. Genetic studies have demonstrated that winter cultivated flax is closely related to oil and fiber cultivated flax and shows little relatedness to its progenitor, pale flax (L. bienne Mill.), but winter hardiness is one major characteristic of pale flax. Here, we assessed the genetic relationships of 48 Linum samples representing pale flax and four trait-specific groups of cultivated flax (dehiscent, fiber, oil, and winter) through population-based resequencing at 24 genomic regions, and revealed a winter group of cultivated flax that displayed close relatedness to the pale flax samples. Overall, the cultivated flax showed a 27% reduction of nucleotide diversity when compared with the pale flax. Recombination frequently occurred at these sampled genomic regions, but the signal of selection and bottleneck was relatively weak. These findings provide some insight into the impact and processes of flax domestication and are significant for expanding our knowledge about early flax domestication, particularly for winter hardiness. © 2012 The Author. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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