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Title: Porous borders at the wild-crop interface promote weed adaptation in Southeast Asia

High reproductive compatibility between crops and their wild relatives can provide benefits for crop breeding but also poses risks for agricultural weed evolution. Weedy rice is a feral relative of rice that infests paddies and causes severe crop losses worldwide. In regions of tropical Asia where the wild progenitor of rice occurs, weedy rice could be influenced by hybridization with the wild species. Genomic analysis of this phenomenon has been very limited. Here we use whole genome sequence analyses of 217 wild, weedy and cultivated rice samples to show that wild rice hybridization has contributed substantially to the evolution of Southeast Asian weedy rice, with some strains acquiring weed-adaptive traits through introgression from the wild progenitor. Our study highlights how adaptive introgression from wild species can contribute to agricultural weed evolution, and it provides a case study of parallel evolution of weediness in independently-evolved strains of a weedy crop relative.

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Nature Publishing Group
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Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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