The circadian clock is a critical regulator of plant physiology and development, controlling key agricultural traits in crop plants1. In addition, natural variation in circadian rhythms is important for local adaptation2, 3, 4. However, quantitative modulation of circadian rhythms due to artificial selection has not yet been reported. Here we show that the circadian clock of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has slowed during domestication. Allelic variation of the tomato homolog of the Arabidopsis gene EID1 is responsible for a phase delay. Notably, the genomic region harboring EID1 shows signatures of a selective sweep. We find that the EID1 allele in cultivated tomatoes enhances plant performance specifically under long day photoperiods, suggesting that humans selected slower circadian rhythms to adapt the cultivated species to the long summer days it encountered as it was moved away from the equator.
- Plant breeding
- Plant genetics