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Data from: Teosinte in Europe – searching for the origin of a novel weed

Cite this dataset

Trtikova, Miluse et al. (2018). Data from: Teosinte in Europe – searching for the origin of a novel weed [Dataset]. Dryad.


A novel weed has recently emerged, causing serious agronomic damage in one of the most important maize-growing regions of Western Europe, the Northern Provinces of Spain. The weed has morphological similarities to a wild relative of maize and has generally been referred to as teosinte. However, the identity, origin or genetic composition of ‘Spanish teosinte’ was unknown. Here, we present a genome-wide analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for Spanish teosinte, sympatric populations of cultivated maize and samples of reference teosinte taxa. Our data are complemented with previously published SNP datasets of cultivated maize and two Mexican teosinte subspecies. Our analyses reveal that Spanish teosinte does not group with any of the currently recognized teosinte taxa. Based on Bayesian clustering analysis and hybridization simulations, we infer that Spanish teosinte is of admixed origin, most likely involving Zea mays ssp. mexicana as one parental taxon, and an unidentified cultivated maize variety as the other. Analyses of plants grown from seeds collected in Spanish maize fields and experimental crosses under controlled conditions reveal that hybridization does occur between Spanish teosinte and cultivated maize in Spain, and that current hybridization is asymmetric, favouring the introgression of Spanish teosinte into cultivated maize, rather than vice versa.

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