The details are in the genome-wide SNPs: Fine scale evolution of the Malaysian weedy rice

Maggie Pui San Sudo, Rupini Yesudasan, Ting Xiang Neik, Dilipkumar Masilamany, Jayasyaliny Jayaraj, Su Sin Teo, Sadequr Rahman, Beng Kah Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Weedy rice (Oryza spp.) is a major nuisance to rice farmers from all over the world. Although the emergence of weedy rice in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo is very recent, the threat to rice yield has reached an alarming stage. Using 47,027 genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)-derived SNPs and candidate gene analysis of the plant architecture domestication gene TAC1, we assessed the genetic variations and evolutionary origin of weedy rice in East Malaysia. Our findings revealed two major evolutionary paths for genetically distinct weedy rice types. Whilst the cultivar-like weedy rice are very likely to be the weedy descendant of local coexisting cultivars, the wild-like weedy rice appeared to have arisen through two possible routes: (i) accidental introduction from Peninsular Malaysia weedy rice populations, and (ii) weedy descendants of coexisting cultivars. The outcome of our genetic analyses supports the notion that Sabah cultivars and Peninsular Malaysia weedy rice are the potential progenitors of Sabah weedy rice. Similar TAC1 haplotypes were shared between Malaysian cultivated and weedy rice populations, which further supported the findings of our GBS-SNP analyses. These different strains of weedy rice have convergently evolved shared traits, such as seeds shattering and open tillers. A comparison with our previous simple-sequence repeat-based population genetic analyses highlights the strength of genome-wide SNPs, including detection of admixtures and low-level introgression events. These findings could inform better strategic management for controlling the spread of weedy rice in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110985
JournalPlant Science
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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