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Genetic differentiation in flowering time of a short-lived perennial herb driven by divergent selection
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Because flowering time influences the time available for fruit maturation, the optimal flowering time should vary among environments that differ in the length of the growing season. With field surveys and a common-garden experiment, we documented variation in flowering time among 20 populations of the perennial herb Primula farinosa growing on soils of different water availability within an 8 x 5 km area on the island Öland, SE Sweden. We tested the hypotheses that (a) among-population variation in flowering time in the field reflects genetic differentiation, (b) among-population differentiation in flowering time is larger than that at putatively neutral marker loci, and (c) genetic differentiation in flowering time is related to water availability at the sites of origin. Among-population variation in a common-garden experiment was positively correlated with variation observed among populations at their sites of origin, and among-population differentiation for start of flowering was significantly higher than at putatively neutral marker loci. In the field, flowering start tended to be positively related to soil moisture. However, among-population differentiation observed in the common-garden experiment was not related to variation in measures of water availability at the sites of origin, suggesting that factors other than soil characteristics influence the evolution of flowering time in this system of populations. The results indicate that variation in flowering time observed among natural populations of P. farinosa is the result of both genetic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity, and are consistent with divergent selection on flowering time. 

Keyword [en]
Adaptation; Environmental heterogeneity; Flowering start; Phenology; Primula farinosa; Soil depth; Water availability
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215433OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215433DiVA: diva2:687214
Available from: 2014-01-13 Created: 2014-01-13 Last updated: 2014-02-10
In thesis
1. Genetic Variation and Evolution of Floral Display in Primula farinosa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genetic Variation and Evolution of Floral Display in Primula farinosa
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I combine molecular analyses, common-garden and field experiments to examine how evolutionary and ecological processes influence patterns of genetic variation among and within populations of the declining, insect-pollinated, self-incompatible, perennial herb Primula farinosa. More specifically I examined 1) whether genetic diversity at neutral marker loci was related to habitat fragmentation and habitat stability, 2) whether floral display and flowering time were more strongly differentiated among populations than were putatively neutral marker loci, 3) whether adaptive population differentiation could be detected on a local spatial scale, and 4) whether floral display differentially affected male and female reproductive success.

Genetic diversity at neutral marker loci was lower within fragmented populations on the Swedish mainland than within the more densely occurring populations on the island Öland, SE Sweden. On Öland, fluctuations in population size were more pronounced on thin than on deep soils, but genetic diversity was not related to soil depth. Among-population genetic differentiation in scape length and flowering time was stronger than that of neutral marker loci, which is consistent with divergent selection acting on these traits. Water availability should influence the length of the growing season and thus the time available for fruit maturation, but flowering time in a common-garden experiment was not related to estimates of water availability at sites of origin. In a reciprocal transplant experiment conducted among four populations separated by up to a few kilometres and growing in environment differing in water availability and grazing intensity, no evidence of local adaption was observed. Finally, in a field experiment, interactions with pollinators and antagonists differentially affected selection on floral display through male and female function.

Taken together, the results indicate that habitat connectivity and environmental heterogeneity contribute to high neutral and adaptive genetic variation in Primula farinosa on the island Öland, SE Sweden, and illustrate that effects on both male and female reproductive success need to be considered to understand fully the evolution of floral display.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 40 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1112
Keyword
natural selection, flowering time, population differentiation, local adaptation, male reproductive success
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215508 (URN)978-91-554-8850-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-28, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2014-02-10

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