Yam genomics supports West Africa as a major cradle of crop domestication

Scarcelli Nora, Cubry Philippe, Akakpo Roland, Thuillet Anne-Céline, Obidiegwu Jude, Baco Mohamed N., Otoo Emmanuel, Sonké Bonaventure, Dansi Alexandre, Djedatin Gustave, Mariac Cédric, Couderc Marie, Causse Sandrine, Alix Karine, Chaïr Hâna, François Olivier, Vigouroux Yves. 2019. Yam genomics supports West Africa as a major cradle of crop domestication. Science Advances, 5 (5):eaaw1947, 7 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
License Licence Creative Commons.

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Abstract : While there has been progress in our understanding of the origin and history of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, a unified perspective is still lacking on where and how major crops were domesticated in the region. Here, we investigated the domestication of African yam (Dioscorea rotundata), a key crop in early African agriculture. Using whole-genome resequencing and statistical models, we show that cultivated yam was domesticated from a forest species. We infer that the expansion of African yam agriculture started in the Niger River basin. This result, alongside with the origins of African rice and pearl millet, supports the hypothesis that the vicinity of the Niger River was a major cradle of African agriculture.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Igname, génomique, Domestication des plantes, Séquence nucléotidique, Provenance, Histoire naturelle

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique occidentale, Niger

Classification Agris : F30 - Plant genetics and breeding
B50 - History
F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography

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

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Scarcelli Nora, IRD (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Cubry Philippe, IRD (FRA)
  • Akakpo Roland, IRD (FRA)
  • Thuillet Anne-Céline, IRD (FRA)
  • Obidiegwu Jude, NRCRI (NGA)
  • Baco Mohamed N., Université de Parakou (BEN)
  • Otoo Emmanuel, CSIR (GHA)
  • Sonké Bonaventure, Université de Yaoundé (CMR)
  • Dansi Alexandre, UNSTIM (BEN)
  • Djedatin Gustave, UNSTIM (BEN)
  • Mariac Cédric, IRD (FRA)
  • Couderc Marie, IRD (FRA)
  • Causse Sandrine, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA)
  • Alix Karine, AgroParisTech (FRA)
  • François Olivier, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Vigouroux Yves, IRD (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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