Shedding new light on the origin and spread of the brinjal eggplant (Solanum melongena L.; Solanaceae) and its wild relatives

Xavier Aubriot, Sandra Knapp, Mindy Syfert, Péter Poczai, Sven Buerki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

• While brinjal eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is the second most important solanaceaous vegetable crop, we lack firm knowledge of its evolutionary relationships. This in turn limits efficient use of crop wild relatives in eggplant improvement. Here, we examine the hypothesis of linear step-wise expansion of the eggplant group from Africa to Asia.
• We use museum collections to generate nuclear and full-plastome data for all species of the eggplant clade. We combine a phylogenomic approach with distribution data to infer a biogeographic scenario for the clade.
• The eggplant clade has Pleistocene origins in northern Africa. Dispersions to tropical Asia gave rise to Solanum insanum, the wild progenitor of the eggplant, and to Africa distinct lineages of widespread and southern-African species. Results suggest that spread of species to southern Africa is recent and was likely facilitated by large mammal herbivores feeding on Solanum fruits (African elephant, impala).
• Rather than a linear ‘Out Of Africa’ sequence, our results are more consistent with an initial event into Asia, and subsequent wide dispersion and differentiation across Africa driven by large mammalian herbivores. Our evolutionary results will impact future work on eggplant domestication and use of wild relatives in breeding of this increasingly important solanaceous crop.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume105
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1175-1187
Number of pages13
ISSN0002-9122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • biogeography
  • chloroplast genome
  • crop wild relatives (CWRs)
  • dispersal
  • eggplant (aubergine)
  • mammalian herbivores
  • molecular dating
  • phylogenomics
  • Solanaceae
  • VEGETATION CHANGE
  • SOUTHERN INDIA
  • SEQUENCE DATA
  • CROP
  • INFERENCE
  • AFRICA
  • LEPTOSTEMONUM
  • HYBRIDIZATION
  • DOMESTICATION
  • biogeography
  • chloroplast genome
  • crop wild relatives (CWRs)
  • dispersal
  • eggplant (aubergine)
  • mammalian herbivores
  • molecular dating
  • phylogenomics
  • Solanaceae
  • VEGETATION CHANGE
  • SOUTHERN INDIA
  • SEQUENCE DATA
  • CROP
  • SOLANACEAE
  • INFERENCE
  • AFRICA
  • LEPTOSTEMONUM
  • HYBRIDIZATION
  • DOMESTICATION

Projects

SOLPHYLO: Phylogenetic Relationships and Organellar Genome Evolution in Solanaceae

Poczai, P., Hyvönen, J., Amiryousefi, A., Aubriot, X., Sablok, G., Särkinen, T., Knapp, S., Buerki, S., Syfert, M., He, X., Gagnon, E., Orejuela, A., Barboza, G., Baden, M. & van der Weerden, G. M.

Itä-Suomen yliopisto, Jyväskylän yliopisto, Uudenmaan liitto

01/09/201601/09/2020

Project: Research project

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