Try and find an illustration of the domestication bottleneck — to put in a slide for a presentation, say — and likely as not you end up with some variation on a classic theme, this particular version being from the great Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Evolution of Maize:
That’s fine for some purposes, but sometimes you want real data, and then you might use this:
But I don’t really find that particularly striking, do you? And that’s why I really got excited about Fig. 1c in a recent paper about patterns of genomic diversity in a bunch of soybean accessions, ranging from wild populations to modern varieties. It’s really tiny in the paper, so I’ve blown it up here, at the expense of some quality:
I think this really shows very compellingly how the genetic diversity space shrinks and shifts as you move from wild soya to modern varieties. You don’t even really need to know that the axes are principal component scores or indeed how diversity was measured. But is this kind of diagram common out there? I can’t remember seeing anything quite this clear, and some rapid googling drew a blank too. Well, perhaps I read the wrong journals.
So here’s a question for you: what’s your favourite illustration of the domestication bottleneck, using real data? If we get a decent number of examples, I’ll try to put them all together in a post, and maybe even organize a vote.