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Demographic history and adaptation of teosintes and temperate maize as revealed by whole genome sequencing


> Contact: Maud TENAILLON (
Jean-Tristan Brandenburg, Hélène Corti, Margaux-Alison Fustier, Martine Le Guilloux, Domenica Manicacci, Clémentine Vitte


Recent results

teosines in Mexico

Maize was domesticated from teosintes around 9,000 years ago in Mexico. Its initial domestication was followed by rapid expansion throughout the Americas. He was subsequently introduced during the 15th century in europe. We are investigating the factors that drove its adaptation to a broad range of climates, from tropicals to temperate, from high to low elevation and the genomic consequences of these adaptations.

We are conducting a research program on the genetic determinants of adaptation to altitude in teosintes. In this purpose we have collected 31 populations of teosintes along 2 altitudinal gradients. We aim at detecting the nucleotidic and structural variations linked to altitudinal adaptation from Pool-seq data using population genomic tools. Local adaptation is tested through phenotypic measures in field assays in Mexico.

In parallel we are identifying polymorphisms from genome-wide sequencing data in maize using 67 genomes (inbred lines) sampled in European material and potential American sources of the European material. Our goal here is to refine the demographic and selective history of maize introduction to Europe and its genomic adaptation to temperate climates. A susbset of this material are also used to identify candidate adaptive methylation variants.

Finally, we are studying the determinants of maize floral transition. Floral transition is a key trait for the selection of early flowering photoperiod insensitive varieties adapted to temperate climates. We are undertaking differential gene expression analyzes in a unique material issued from 17 generations of divergent selection (DS) for flowering time. Besides the identification of new genetic and epigenetic variants, we are testing convergent evolution between DS experiments conducted in parallel and investigating the impact of selection on the evolution of the gene network encoding floral transition.


> Collaborators GQE – Le Moulon
Alain Charcosset, Christine Dillmann, Fabrice Dumas, Matthieu Falque, Johann Joets, Stéphane Nicolas, Yasmine Nooroya, Adrienne Ressayre, Anthony Venon

> External collaborators
Jonas Aguirre (UNAM, Mexico), Simon Boitard (INRA, Toulouse), Luis Eguiarte (UNAM, Mexico), Arnaud Le Rouzic (LEGS, Gif-sur-Yvette), Aurélien Tellier (Münich, Allemagne), Yves Vigouroux (IRD, Montpellier).


> Where are they now?

Jonathan CORBI, Postdoctoral fellow
Doctorant (2006-2010)
Maryline DEBIEU, Postdoctoral fellow
Éléonore DURAND, Postdoctoral fellow
Beatriz GONÇALVES, Postdoctoral fellow PhD student (2010-2013)
Maéva MOLLION, PhD student
Odrade NOUGUE, PhD student Master student (2011)
Tatiana ZERJAL, Scientist Inra Postdoctoral fellow (2006-2008)

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