Adaptive introgression: An untapped evolutionary mechanism for crop adaptation

Burgarella Concetta, Barnaud Adeline, Kane Ndjido Ardo, Jankowski Frédérique, Scarcelli Nora, Billot Claire, Vigouroux Yves, Berthouly-Salazar Cécile. 2019. Adaptive introgression: An untapped evolutionary mechanism for crop adaptation. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10:4, 17 p.

Journal article ; Article de synthèse ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : PLANT SCIENCES

Abstract : Global environmental changes strongly impact wild and domesticated species biology and their associated ecosystem services. For crops, global warming has led to significant changes in terms of phenology and/or yield. To respond to the agricultural challenges of this century, there is a strong need for harnessing the genetic variability of crops and adapting them to new conditions. Gene flow, from either the same species or a different species, may be an immediate primary source to widen genetic diversity and adaptions to various environments. When the incorporation of a foreign variant leads to an increase of the fitness of the recipient pool, it is referred to as “adaptive introgression”. Crop species are excellent case studies of this phenomenon since their genetic variability has been considerably reduced over space and time but most of them continue exchanging genetic material with their wild relatives. In this paper, we review studies of adaptive introgression, presenting methodological approaches and challenges to detecting it. We pay particular attention to the potential of this evolutionary mechanism for the adaptation of crops. Furthermore, we discuss the importance of farmers' knowledge and practices in shaping wild-to-crop gene flow. Finally, we argue that screening the wild introgression already existing in the cultivated gene pool may be an effective strategy for uncovering wild diversity relevant for crop adaptation to current environmental changes and for informing new breeding directions.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Changement climatique, Variation génétique, adaptation aux changements climatiques, Plante de culture, Plante sauvage

Mots-clés libres : Introgression, Plante cultivée- plante sauvage, Influence des pratiques humaines

Classification Agris : F30 - Plant genetics and breeding
P40 - Meteorology and climatology
F40 - Plant ecology

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 1 (2019-) - Biodiversité

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Burgarella Concetta, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-4522-4297 - auteur correspondant
  • Barnaud Adeline, IRD (FRA)
  • Kane Ndjido Ardo, ISRA (SEN)
  • Jankowski Frédérique, CIRAD-ES-UPR GREEN (FRA)
  • Scarcelli Nora, IRD (FRA)
  • Billot Claire, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA)
  • Vigouroux Yves, IRD (FRA)
  • Berthouly-Salazar Cécile, IRD (FRA) - auteur correspondant

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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