NING YANG, YUEBIN WANG, XIANGGUO LIU, MINLIANG JIN, MIGUELVALLEBUENO-ESTRADA, ERIN CALFEE, LU CHEN, BRIAN P.DILKES, SONGTAO GUI, XINGMING FAN, THOMAS K.HARPER, DOUGLAS J.KENNETT, WENQIANG LI, YANLI LU, JUNQIANG DING, ZIQI CHEN, JINGYUN LUO, SOWMYA MAMBAKKAM, MITRAMENON, SAMANTHA SNODGRASS, CARL VELLER, SHENSHENWU, SIYING WU, LIN ZHUO, YINGJIE XIAO, XIAOHONG YANG, MICHELLE C.STITZER, DANIEL RUNCIE, JIANBING YAN, JEFFREY ROSS-IBARRA
SCIENCE, 1 Dec 2023, Vol382, Issue6674, DOI: 10.1126/science.adg894
The origins of maize were the topic of vigorous debate for nearly a century, but neither the current genetic model nor earlier archaeological models account for the totality of available data, and recent work has highlighted the potential contribution of a wild relative, Zea maysssp.mexicana. Our population genetic analysis reveals that the origin of modern maize can be traced to an admixture between ancient maize and Zea maysssp.mexicanain the highlands of Mexico some 4000 years after domestication began. We show that variation in admixture is a key component of maize diversity, both at individual loci and for additive genetic variation underlying agronomic traits. Our results clarify the origin of modern maize and raise new questions about the anthropogenic mechanisms underlying dispersal throughout the Americas.