Ramie is an old fiber crop, cultivated for thousands of years in China. The cultivar ramie evolved from the wild species Qingyezhuma (QYZM, Boehmeria nivea var. tenacissima). However, the mechanism of domestication of this old fiber crop is poorly understood. In order to characterize the selective pattern in ramie domestication, orthologous genes between the transcriptomes of domesticated ramie variety Zhongzhu 1 (ZZ1) and wild QYZM were assessed using bidirectional best-hit method and ratio of non-synonymous (Ka) to synonymous (Ks) nucleotide substitutions was estimated. Sequence comparison of 56,932 and 59,246 unigenes from the wild QYZM and domesticated ZZ1, respectively, helped identify 10,745 orthologous unigene pairs with a total orthologous length of 10.18 Mb. Among these unigenes, 85 and 13 genes were found to undergo significant purifying and positive selection, respectively. Most of the selected genes were homologs of those involved in abiotic stress tolerance or disease resistance in other plants, suggesting that abiotic and biotic stresses were important selective pressures in ramie domestication. Two genes probably related to the fiber yield of ramie were subjected to positive selection, which may be caused by human manipulation. Thus, our results show the pervasive effects of artificial and natural selections on the accelerated domestication of ramie from its wild relative.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 17, 2014
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