As early farming spread from the Fertile Crescent in the Near East around 10,000 years before the present1, domesticated crops encountered considerable ecological and environmental change. Spring-sown crops that flowered without the need for an extended period of cold to promote flowering and day length–insensitive crops able to exploit the longer, cooler days of higher latitudes emerged and became established. To investigate the genetic consequences of adaptation to these new environments, we identified signatures of divergent selection in the highly differentiated modern-day spring and winter barleys. In one genetically divergent region, we identify a natural variant of the barley homolog of Antirrhinum CENTRORADIALIS2 (HvCEN) as a contributor to successful environmental adaptation. The distribution of HvCEN alleles in a large collection of wild and landrace accessions indicates that this involved selection and enrichment of preexisting genetic variants rather than the acquisition of mutations after domestication.
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NCBI Reference Sequence
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We thank A. Graner, S. Friedel, F. Blattner, R. Sharma, R.K. Pasam, R. Neef and G. Willcox for discussions, K. Mayer and M. Pfeifer for searches for conservation of synteny in sequenced model grass genomes, J. Plieske and G. Durstewitz for their assistance in mapping and development of the cluster file and C. Trautewig, M. Ziems, K. Wolf, N. Uzrek and J. Morris for excellent technical assistance. We thank H. Özkan, E. Fridman and the IPK Genebank for providing seeds and/or DNA for barley accessions. The authors would like to acknowledge the support given by the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division Research Programme (WP 5.2), the European Union International Research Cooperation with Mediterranean Partner Countries program ICA3-CT2002-10026 (Mapping Adaptation of Barley to Drought Environments) and Framework Programme 7 (FP7) TriticeaeGenome grant (FP7-212019), and the German Science Foundation Priority Programme SPP1530 to B.K.
M.G. has competing commercial interests as a member of TraitGenetics, which is a commercial company that performs molecular marker analysis services with the barley array. The authors maintain their agreement to the sharing of all data and materials. There are no further products in development or marketed products or patents to declare. All other authors declare no competing financial interests.
Supplementary Note, Supplementary Figures 1–5 and Supplementary Tables 1–5, 7–10, 12 and 13 (PDF 1606 kb)
Barley 9K iSelect platform (Excel file) (XLSX 1422 kb)
Geo-referenced wild, landrace and cultivated lines (Excel File) (XLSX 108 kb)
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Comadran, J., Kilian, B., Russell, J. et al. Natural variation in a homolog of Antirrhinum CENTRORADIALIS contributed to spring growth habit and environmental adaptation in cultivated barley. Nat Genet 44, 1388–1392 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.2447
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