Feral populations of Brassica oleracea along Atlantic coasts in western Europe

Mittell, E. A., Cobbold, C. A. , Ijaz, U. Z. , Kilbride, E. A., Moore, K. A. and Mable, B. K. (2020) Feral populations of Brassica oleracea along Atlantic coasts in western Europe. Ecology and Evolution, 10(20), pp. 11810-11825. (doi: 10.1002/ece3.6821) (PMID:33145003) (PMCID:PMC7593181)

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There has been growing emphasis on the role that crop wild relatives might play in supporting highly selected agriculturally valuable species in the face of climate change. In species that were domesticated many thousands of years ago, distinguishing wild populations from escaped feral forms can be challenging, but reintroducing variation from either source could supplement current cultivated forms. For economically important cabbages (Brassicaceae: Brassica oleracea), “wild” populations occur throughout Europe but little is known about their genetic variation or potential as resources for breeding more resilient crop varieties. The main aim of this study was to characterize the population structure of geographically isolated wild cabbage populations along the coasts of the UK and Spain, including the Atlantic range edges. Double‐digest restriction‐site‐associated DNA sequencing was used to sample individual cabbage genomes, assess the similarity of plants from 20 populations, and explore environment–genotype associations across varying climatic conditions. Interestingly, there were no indications of isolation by distance; several geographically close populations were genetically more distinct from each other than to distant populations. Furthermore, several distant populations shared genetic ancestry, which could indicate that they were established by escapees of similar source cultivars. However, there were signals of local adaptation to different environments, including a possible relationship between genetic diversity and soil pH. Overall, these results highlight wild cabbages in the Atlantic region as an important genetic resource worthy of further research into their relationship with existing crop varieties.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cobbold, Professor Christina and Kilbride, Mrs Elizabeth and Ijaz, Dr Umer and Mable, Professor Barbara and Mittell, Elizabeth
Authors: Mittell, E. A., Cobbold, C. A., Ijaz, U. Z., Kilbride, E. A., Moore, K. A., and Mable, B. K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Ecology and Evolution
ISSN (Online):2045-7758
Published Online:24 September 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ecology and Evolution 10(20): 11810-11825
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170256Understanding microbial community through in situ environmental 'omic data synthesisUmer Zeeshan IjazNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/L011956/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment
173099Mathematical Theory and Biological Applications of DiversityRichard ReeveBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P004202/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine