Multiple Eggplant Domestication/Adaptation Events Revealed by Genetic Analysis of Around 3,500 Worldwide Accessions

Barchi L., Omondi E., Aprea G., Rabanus-Wallace M. T., Toppino L., Martin D. A., ...More

Proceeding of the Plant and Animal Genome XXX Conference (PAGXXX) , California, United States Of America, 15 - 18 January 2023, pp.971

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: California
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.971
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Eggplant (Solanum melongena L., 2n=2x=24), also known as brinjal or aubergine, is a member of the Solanaceae family and the third most widely grown Solanaceous vegetable after potato and tomato, with a global production of 57 Mt in 2020 (FAOSTAT). In the frame of the EU G2P-SOL project (, about 5,900 accessions of eggplant and wild relatives belonging to its primary, secondary and tertiary gene pool were inventoried. A custom set of 5K Single Primer Enrichment Technology (SPET) probes was applied for genotyping around 3,500 accessions originating from 105 countries in five continents and maintained in seven genebanks. After SNPs calling, a whole of 88 misclassified and 591 duplicated accessions were identified. Various hypotheses have been formulated on eggplant domestication, including its origin from a single or from two domestication centers. Our data suggest that domestication occurred independently in South-East Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, with limited genetic exchange between the two regions, and also that migration and consequent admixture of genotypes from different regions has been much more limited than in tomato and pepper, the other two widely cultivated berry-producing Solanaceous crops. Genome-wide association analysis of genetic and phenotypic data scored by genebanks during seed regeneration, in combination with pedo-climatic data from the Indian diversity center, highlighted the role of both anthropogenic and environmental selection in shaping the extraordinary phenotypic and genetic diversity of this crop.