From population genetics to population genomics: genetic variation, evolution, and adaptation in perennial crops and their wild relatives
24/07/2012 - Room C209 at 14:00 - External Seminar
(St Louis University )
Genetic variation within and among populations is the foundation of evolution and the basis of crop breeding programs. A fundamental goal of plant evolutionary biology is to document patterns of genetic variation in crop species and their wild relatives in order to understand historical and contemporary processes shaping crop genetic variation, and to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of agriculturally and ecologically important traits. Until recently, analyses of population genetic variation have been based primarily on DNA sequence data or fragments from a limited number of loci. Here, I use these data to highlight important differences in the evolution of crop species that live for one year (annual crops) or multiple years (perennial crops), and to characterize the evolutionary histories of two perennial crop case studies, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies, high-throughput assays, and computational tools yield boundless opportunities to characterize population genomic variation in plant species. With a fully sequenced genome and growing genomic resources, grapevines (Vitis spp.) present ideal perennial models for population genomics analyses. I summarize current understanding of grapevine evolutionary history and discuss ongoing work with native North American Vitis species aimed at characterizing the genomic basis of abiotic and biotic stress response.