Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, 12 Waverly Place, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA; Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address: [Email]
Domesticated plants have long served as excellent models for studying evolution. Many genes and mutations underlying important domestication traits have been identified, and most causal mutations appear to be SNPs. Copy number variation (CNV) is an important source of genetic variation that has been largely neglected in studies of domestication. Ongoing work demonstrates the importance of CNVs as a source of genetic variation during domestication, and during the diversification of domesticated taxa. Here, we review how CNVs contribute to evolutionary processes underlying domestication, and review examples of domestication traits caused by CNVs. We draw from examples in plant species, but also highlight cases in animal systems that could illuminate the roles of CNVs in the domestication process.