Allelic diversity underlying flowering-time adaptation in maize landraces ($)

Landraces are native varieties that have been selected for adaptation to their native environment, and as such they provide a wealth of largely unexplored genetic potential. Romero Navarro et al. used a new approach called F-one association mapping (FOAM) in combination with genome-wide association strategy (GWAS) to query an initial population of nearly 5000 diverse individuals from 35 countries. Flowering time is a multi-genic trait crucial for local adaptation and is particularly responsive to latitude and altitude. Through this study, the authors identified nearly 1500 genes associated with altitude, and more than 1000 associated with flowering, demonstrating that this approach is a powerful tool with which to unlock the information stored in landrace genomes. Nature Genetics 10.1038/ng.3784