Section: Genomics
Topic: Genetics/Genomics, Evolution, Population biology

The demographic history of the wild crop relative Brachypodium distachyon is shaped by distinct past and present ecological niches

10.24072/pcjournal.319 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article no. e84.

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Closely related to economically important crops, the grass Brachypodium distachyon has been originally established as a pivotal species for grass genomics but more recently flourished as a model for developmental biology. Grasses encompass more than 10,000 species and cover more than 40% of the world land area from tropical to temperate regions. Given that grasses also supply about a fifth of the world's dietary protein as cereal grains, unlocking the sources of phenotypic variation in B. distachyon is hence of prime interest in fundamental and applied research in agronomy, ecology and evolution. We present here the B. distachyon diversity panel, which encompasses 332 fully sequenced accessions covering the whole species distribution from Spain to Iraq. By combining population genetics, niche modeling and landscape genomics, we suggest that B. distachyon recolonized Europe and the Middle East following the last glacial maximum. Consequently, the species faced new environmental conditions which led to clear associations between bioclimatic variables and genetic factors as well as footprints of positive selection in the genome. Altogether, this genomic resource offers a powerful alternative to Arabidopsis thaliana to investigate the genetic bases of adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in plants and more specifically in monocots.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.319
Type: Research article
Keywords: genetic diversity, local adaptation, landscape genomics, GEA, grass, Brachypodium distachyon
Minadakis, Nikolaos 1; Williams, Hefin 2; Horvath, Robert 1; Caković, Danka 3; Stritt, Christoph 4; Thieme, Michael 1; Bourgeois, Yann 5, 6; Roulin, Anne C. 1

1 Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Zurich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
2 Department of Life Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales
3 Department of Biology, University of Montenegro, Džordža Vašingtona bb, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
4 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Kreuzstrasse 2, 4123 Allschwil, Switzerland
5 DIADE, University of Montpellier, CIRAD, IRD, Montpellier, France
6 University House, Winston Churchill Ave, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, United Kingdom
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {The demographic history of the wild crop relative {\protect\emph{Brachypodium} distachyon} is shaped by distinct past and present ecological niches},
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Minadakis, Nikolaos; Williams, Hefin; Horvath, Robert; Caković, Danka; Stritt, Christoph; Thieme, Michael; Bourgeois, Yann; Roulin, Anne C. The demographic history of the wild crop relative Brachypodium distachyon is shaped by distinct past and present ecological niches. Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article  no. e84. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.319.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.genomics.100251

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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