via Molecular Biology and Evolution, 08 July 2021: A paper by Alam et al. tracing the spread of rice (Oryza sativa) in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
The dispersal of rice (Oryza sativa) following domestication influenced massive social and cultural changes across South, East, and Southeast Asia. The history of dispersal across islands of Southeast Asia, and the role of Taiwan and the Austronesian expansion in this process remain largely unresolved. Here, we reconstructed the routes of dispersal of O. sativa ssp. japonica rice through Taiwan and the northern Philippines using whole-genome re-sequencing of indigenous rice landraces coupled with archaeological and paleoclimate data. Our results indicate that japonica rice found in the northern Philippines diverged from Indonesian landraces as early as 3500 BP. In contrast, rice cultivated by the indigenous peoples of the Taiwanese mountains has complex origins. It comprises two distinct populations, each best explained as a result of admixture between temperate japonica that presumably came from northeast Asia, and tropical japonica from the northern Philippines and mainland Southeast Asia respectively. We find that the temperate japonica component of these indigenous Taiwan populations diverged from northeast Asia subpopulations at about 2600 BP, while gene flow from the northern Philippines occurred before ∼1300 years BP. This coincides with a period of intensified trade established across the South China Sea. Finally, we find evidence for positive selection acting on distinct genomic regions in different rice subpopulations, indicating local adaptation associated with the spread of japonica rice.
Source: Genome analysis traces regional dispersal of rice in Taiwan and Southeast Asia | Molecular Biology and Evolution | Oxford Academic
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