The effect of artificial selection on phenotypic plasticity in maize
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Remarkable productivity has been achieved in crop species through artificial selection and adaptation to modern agronomic practices. Whether intensive selection has changed the ability of improved cultivars to maintain high productivity across variable environments is unknown. Understanding the genetic control of phenotypic plasticity and genotype by environment (G × E) interaction will enhance crop performance predictions across diverse environments. Here we use data generated from the Genomes to Fields (G2F) Maize G × E project to assess the effect of selection on G × E variation and characterize polymorphisms associated with plasticity. Genomic regions putatively selected during modern temperate maize breeding explain less variability for yield G × E than unselected regions, indicating that improvement by breeding may have reduced G × E of modern temperate cultivars. Trends in genomic position of variants associated with stability reveal fewer genic associations and enrichment of variants 0-5000 base pairs upstream of genes, hypothetically due to control of plasticity by short-range regulatory elements.
author list (cited authors)
Gage, J. L., Jarquin, D., Romay, C., Lorenz, A., Buckler, E. S., Kaeppler, S., ... de Leon, N.