Sugihara, Yu, Darkwa, Kwabena, Yaegashi, Hiroki, Natsume, Satoshi, Shimizu, Motoki, Abe, Akira, Hirabuchi, Akiko, Ito, Kazue, Oikawa, Kaori, Tamiru-Oli, Muluneh, Ohta, Atsushi, Matsumoto, Ryo, Agre, Paterne, De Koeyer, David, Pachakkil, Babil, Yamanaka, Shinsuke, Muranaka, Satoru, Takagi, Hiroko, White, Ben, Asiedu, Robert, Innan, Hideki, Asfaw, Asrat, Adebola, Patrick, Terauchi, Ryohei
White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is an important staple tuber crop in West Africa. However, its origin remains unclear. In this study, we resequenced 336 accessions of white Guinea yam and compared them with the sequences of wild Dioscorea species using an improved reference genome sequence of D. rotundata In contrast to a previous study suggesting that D. rotundata originated from a subgroup of Dioscorea praehensilis, our results suggest a hybrid origin of white Guinea yam from crosses between the wild rainforest species D. praehensilis and the savannah-adapted species Dioscorea abyssinica We identified a greater genomic contribution from D. abyssinica in the sex chromosome of Guinea yam and extensive introgression around the SWEETIE gene. Our findings point to a complex domestication scenario for Guinea yam and highlight the importance of wild species as gene donors for improving this crop through molecular breeding.