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Genomic evidence of human selection on Vavilovian mimicry
Chuyu Ye+, Wei Tang+, Dongya Wu+, Lei Jia, Jie Qiu, Meihong Chen,Lingfeng Mao, Feng Lin, Haiming Xu, Xiaoyue Yu, Yongliang Lu, Yonghong Wang, Kenneth M. Olsen, Michael P. Timko and Longjiang Fan*
Nature Ecology & Evolution  , 2019, 3(10):1474-1482.


Vavilovian mimicry is an evolutionary process by which weeds evolve to resemble domesticated crop plants and is thought to be the result of unintentional selection by humans. Unravelling its molecular mechanisms will extend our knowledge of mimicry and contribute to our understanding of the origin and evolution of agricultural weeds, an important component of crop biology.To this end, we compared mimetic and non-mimetic populations of Echinochloa crus-galli from the Yangtze River basin phenotypically and by genome resequencing, and we show that this weed in rice paddies has evolved a small tiller angle, allowing it to phenocopy cultivated rice at the seedling stage. We demonstrate that mimetic lines evolved from the non-mimetic population as recently as 1,000 yr ago and were subject to a genetic bottleneck, and that genomic regions containing 87 putative plant architecture-related genes (including LAZY1, a key gene controlling plant tiller angle) were under selection during the mimicry process. Our data provide genome-level evidence for the action of human selection on Vavilovian mimicry.