Convergent Domestication of Cereal Crops by Independent Mutations at Corresponding Genetic Loci

Science  22 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5231, pp. 1714-1718
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5231.1714


Independent domestication of sorghum, rice, and maize involved convergent selection for large seeds, reduced disarticulation of the mature inflorescence, and daylength-insensitive flowering. These similar phenotypes are largely determined by a small number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that correspond closely in the three taxa. The correspondence of these QTLs transcends 65 million years of reproductive isolation. This finding supports models of quantitative inheritance that invoke relatively few genes, obviates difficulties in map-based cloning of QTLs, and impels the comparative mapping of complex pheno-types across large evolutionary distances, such as those that separate humans from rodents and domesticated mammals.

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