Natural variation in teosinte at the domestication locus teosinte branched1 (tb1)

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Laura VannJeffrey Ross-Ibarra


Premise of the study: The teosinte branched1 ( tb1 ) gene is a major QTL controlling branching differences between maize and its wild progenitor, teosinte. The insertion of a transposable element ( Hopscotch ) upstream of tb1 is known to enhance the gene’s expression, causing reduced tillering in maize. Observations of the maize tb1 allele in teosinte and estimates of an insertion age of the Hopscotch that predates domestication led us to investigate its prevalence and potential role in teosinte. Methods: Prevalence of the Hopscotch element was assessed across an Americas-wide sample of 1110 maize and teosinte individuals using a co-dominant PCR assay. Population genetic summaries were calculated for a subset of individuals from four teosinte populations in central Mexico. Phenotypic data were also collected from a single teosinte population where Hopscotch was found segregating. Key results: Genotyping results suggest the Hopscotch element is at higher than expected frequency in teosinte. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium near tb1 does not support recent introgression of the Hopscotch allele from maize into teosinte. Population genetic signatures are consistent with selection on this locus revealing a potential ecological r...Continue Reading

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Zea mays
DNA Transposable Elements
Gene Expression
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Polymerase Chain Reaction Analysis
TB1 protein, Zea mays
Genetic Loci
Research Study

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