Genomic signature of successful colonization of Eurasia by the allopolyploid shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris).
Polyploidization is a dominant feature of flowering plant evolution. However, detailed genomic analyses of the interpopulation diversification of polyploids following genome duplication are still in their infancy, mainly because of methodological limits, both in terms of sequencing and computational analyses. The shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is one of the most common weed species in the world. It is highly self-fertilizing, and recent genomic data indicate that it is an allopolyploid, resulting from hybridization between the ancestors of the diploid species Capsella grandiflora and Capsella orientalis. Here, we investigated the genomic diversity of C. bursa-pastoris, its population structure and demographic history, following allopolyploidization in Eurasia. To that end, we genotyped 261 C. bursa-pastoris accessions spread across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, using genotyping-by-sequencing, leading to a total of 4274 SNPs after quality control. Bayesian clustering analyses revealed three distinct genetic clusters in Eurasia: one cluster grouping samples from Western Europe and Southeastern Siberia, the second one centred on Eastern Asia and the third one in the Middle East. Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) supported the hypothesis that C. bursa-pastoris underwent a typical colonization history involving low gene flow among colonizing populations, likely starting from the Middle East towards Europe and followed by successive human-mediated expansions into Eastern Asia. Altogether, these findings bring new insights into the recent multistage colonization history of the allotetraploid C. bursa-pastoris and highlight ABC and genotyping-by-sequencing data as promising but still challenging tools to infer demographic histories of selfing allopolyploids.