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Early life stages contribute strongly to local adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 113, no 27, 7590-7595 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Text
Abstract [en]

The magnitude and genetic basis of local adaptation is of fundamental interest in evolutionary biology. However, field experiments usually do not consider early life stages, and therefore may underestimate local adaptation and miss genetically based tradeoffs. We examined the contribution of differences in seedling establishment to adaptive differentiation and the genetic architecture of local adaptation using recombinant inbred lines (RIL) derived from a cross between two locally adapted populations (Italy and Sweden) of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We planted freshly matured, dormant seeds (> 180 000) representing >200 RILs at the native field sites of the parental genotypes, estimated the strength of selection during different life stages, mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fitness and its components, and quantified selection on seed dormancy. We found that selection during the seedling establishment phase contributed strongly to the fitness advantage of the local genotype at both sites. With one exception, local alleles of the eight distinct establishment QTL were favored. The major QTL for establishment and total fitness showed evidence of a fitness tradeoff and was located in the same region as the major seed dormancy QTL and the dormancy gene DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1). RIL seed dormancy could explain variation in seedling establishment and fitness across the life cycle. Our results demonstrate that genetically based differences in traits affecting performance during early life stages can contribute strongly to adaptive differentiation and genetic tradeoffs, and should be considered for a full understanding of the ecology and genetics of local adaptation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 113, no 27, 7590-7595 p.
Keyword [en]
adaptive differentiation, divergent selection, genetic tradeoff, pleiotropy, QTL mapping
National Category
Botany Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300043DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606303113ISI: 000379021700079PubMedID: 27330113OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300043DiVA: diva2:950778
Available from: 2016-08-02 Created: 2016-08-02 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Selection during Early Life Stages and Local Adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Selection during Early Life Stages and Local Adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Organisms are often adapted to their local environment, but the role of early life stages in adaptive differentiation among populations remains poorly known. The aim of my thesis was to investigate the contribution of early life stages to the magnitude and genetic basis of local adaptation, and to identify the underlying adaptive traits. For this, I used two natural populations of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana from Italy and Sweden, and a Recombinant Inbred Line (RIL) population derived from a cross between these populations. By combining greenhouse and field experiments, Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping, and path analysis, I examined (1) the genetic basis of seed dormancy, (2) the contribution of differential seedling establishment to local adaptation, (3) among-year variation in selection during seedling establishment, (4) direct and indirect effects of seed dormancy and timing of germination on fitness, and (5) the adaptive value of the seed bank.

I found that both the level and the genetic basis of seed dormancy were affected by the maternal environment. One major-effect QTL was identified in all maternal environments, which overlaps with the dormancy gene DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1).

Selection through seedling establishment success contributed strongly to local adaptation and genetic tradeoffs, and varied among years. Variation in seedling establishment and overall fitness among RILs could be explained by genetically based differences in seed dormancy and timing of germination. Seed dormancy affected fitness throughout the life cycle, by affecting the proportion of germinated seeds, and indirectly via effects on timing of germination, plant size and flowering time.

My results suggest that a considerable portion of A. thaliana seeds enter the seed bank. I found genetic differences in dormancy cycling behaviour between the two populations, which could contribute to local adaptation. The value of a seed bank should be higher at the Swedish study site than at the Italian study site due to lower rate of seed mortality in the soil.

Overall, the results of this thesis demonstrate that early life stages contribute strongly to both the magnitude and the genetics of local adaptation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 51 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1425
Keyword
Dormancy cycling, Germination timing, Maternal effects, Natural variation, QTL mapping, Seed bank, Seed dormancy, Structural Equation Modeling
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Ecology Botany
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302862 (URN)978-91-554-9687-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-10-28, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2016-10-05 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-10-11

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