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Introgression among North American wild grapes (Vitis) fuels biotic and abiotic adaptation.



Introgressive hybridization can reassort genetic variants into beneficial combinations, permitting adaptation to new ecological niches. To evaluate evolutionary patterns and dynamics that contribute to introgression, we investigate six wild Vitis species that are native to the Southwestern United States and useful for breeding grapevine (V. vinifera) rootstocks.


By creating a reference genome assembly from one wild species, V. arizonica, and by resequencing 130 accessions, we focus on identifying putatively introgressed regions (pIRs) between species. We find six species pairs with signals of introgression between them, comprising up to ~ 8% of the extant genome for some pairs. The pIRs tend to be gene poor, located in regions of high recombination and enriched for genes implicated in disease resistance functions. To assess potential pIR function, we explore SNP associations to bioclimatic variables and to bacterial levels after infection with the causative agent of Pierce's disease (Xylella fastidiosa). pIRs are enriched for SNPs associated with both climate and bacterial levels, suggesting that introgression is driven by adaptation to biotic and abiotic stressors.


Altogether, this study yields insights into the genomic extent of introgression, potential pressures that shape adaptive introgression, and the evolutionary history of economically important wild relatives of a critical crop.

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