Comparative evolutionary genetics of deleterious load in sorghum and maize.

Lozano R, Gazave E, Dos Santos JPR, Stetter MG, Valluru R, Bandillo N, Fernandes SB, Brown PJ, Shakoor N, Mockler TC, Cooper EA, Taylor Perkins M, Buckler ES, Ross-Ibarra J, Gore MA

Published: 17 January 2021 in Nature plants
Keywords: No keywords in Pubmed
Pubmed ID: 33452486
DOI: 10.1038/s41477-020-00834-5

Sorghum and maize share a close evolutionary history that can be explored through comparative genomics1,2. To perform a large-scale comparison of the genomic variation between these two species, we analysed ~13 million variants identified from whole-genome resequencing of 499 sorghum lines together with 25 million variants previously identified in 1,218 maize lines. Deleterious mutations in both species were prevalent in pericentromeric regions, enriched in non-syntenic genes and present at low allele frequencies. A comparison of deleterious burden between sorghum and maize revealed that sorghum, in contrast to maize, departed from the domestication-cost hypothesis that predicts a higher deleterious burden among domesticates compared with wild lines. Additionally, sorghum and maize population genetic summary statistics were used to predict a gene deleterious index with an accuracy greater than 0.5. This research represents a key step towards understanding the evolutionary dynamics of deleterious variants in sorghum and provides a comparative genomics framework to start prioritizing these variants for removal through genome editing and breeding.

DOE - Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) DE-AR0000594
DOE - Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) DE-AR0000598
DOE - Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) DE-AR0000661
FAPESP 17/03625-2
FAPESP 17/25674-5