Phylogeny and disparate selection signatures suggest two genetically independent domestication events in pea (Pisum L.)

Timo Hellwig*, Shahal Abbo, Ron Ophir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Domestication is considered a model of adaptation that can be used to draw conclusions about the modus operandi of selection in natural systems. Investigating domestication may give insights into how plants react to different intensities of human manipulation, which has direct implication for the continuing efforts of crop improvement. Therefore, scientists of various disciplines study domestication-related questions to understand the biological and cultural bases of the domestication process. We employed restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) of 494 Pisum sativum (pea) samples from all wild and domesticated groups to analyze the genetic structure of the collection. Patterns of ancient admixture were investigated by analysis of admixture graphs. We used two complementary approaches, one diversity based and one based on differentiation, to detect the selection signatures putatively associated with domestication. An analysis of the subpopulation structure of wild P. sativum revealed five distinct groups with a notable geographic pattern. Pisum abyssinicum clustered unequivocally within the P. sativum complex, without any indication of hybrid origin. We detected 32 genomic regions putatively subjected to selection: 29 in P. sativum ssp. sativum and three in P. abyssinicum. The two domesticated groups did not share regions under selection and did not display similar haplotype patterns within those regions. Wild P. sativum is structured into well-diverged subgroups. Although Pisum sativum ssp. humile is not supported as a taxonomic entity, the so-called 'southern humile' is a genuine wild group. Introgression did not shape the variation observed within the sampled germplasm. The two domesticated pea groups display distinct genetic bases of domestication, suggesting two genetically independent domestication events.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)419-439
Number of pages21
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. The Plant Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • crop wild relative
  • domestication
  • genetic diversity
  • introgression
  • phylogeny
  • signatures of selection


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