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Rapid evolution of seed dormancy during sunflower de-domestication

Cite this dataset

Hernández, Fernando et al. (2022). Rapid evolution of seed dormancy during sunflower de-domestication [Dataset]. Dryad.


Hybridization between crops and their wild relatives may promote the evolution of de-domesticated (feral) weeds. Wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is typically found in ruderal environments, but crop-wild hybridization may facilitate the evolution of weedy populations. Using one crop-specific mitochondrial marker (CMS-PET1) and 14 nuclear SSR markers, we studied the origin and genetic diversity of a recently discovered weedy population of sunflower (named BRW). Then, using a resurrection approach, we tested for rapid evolution of weedy traits (seed dormancy, herbicide resistance, and competitive ability) by sampling weedy and wild populations 10 years apart (2007 and 2017). All the weedy plants present the CMS-PET1 cytotype, confirming their feral origin. At the nuclear markers, BRW showed higher genetic diversity than the cultivated lines and low differentiation with one wild population, suggesting that wild hybridization increased their genetic diversity. We found support for rapid evolution towards higher seed dormancy, but not for higher competitive ability or herbicide resistance. Our results highlight the importance of seed dormancy during the earliest stages of adaptation and show that crop-wild hybrids can evolve quickly in agricultural environments.


National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion, Award: PICT 2017-0473

Universidad Nacional del Sur, Award: PGI 24/ A244

University of Memphis