Adaptive genetic differentiation in a predominantly self-pollinating species analyzed by transplanting into natural environment, crossbreeding and Q ST-F ST test

S. Volis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

• Both genetic drift and natural selection result in genetic/phenotypic differentiation over space. I analyzed the role of local adaptation in the genetic differentiation of populations of the annual grass Hordeum spontaneum sampled along an aridity gradient. • The study included the introduction of plants having desert vs nondesert origin into natural (desert) environment, analysis of population differentiation in allozymes and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers vs phenotypic traits (Q ST-F ST comparison), and planting interpopulation hybrids under simulated desert conditions in a glasshouse. • The results of the home advantage test, Q ST-F ST comparison and crossbreeding were consistent with local adaptation; that is, that differentiation of the desert plants from plants of nondesert origin in phenotypic traits was adaptive, giving them home advantage. Each method used provided additional, otherwise unavailable, information, meaning that they should be viewed as complementary rather than alternative approaches. • Gene flow from adjacent populations (i.e. populations experiencing the desert environment) via seeds (but not pollen) had a positive effect on fitness by enhancing natural selection and counteracting drift. At the same time, the effect of genes from the species distributional core (nondesert plants) by either seed or pollen had a negative fitness effect despite its enriching effect on neutral diversity. The pattern of outbreeding depression observed in interpopulation hybrids (F 1) and their segregating progeny (F 2) was inconsistent with underdominance, but indicated the presence of additive, dominance and epistatic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume192
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Crossbreeding
  • Home advantage test
  • Local adaptation
  • Outbreeding depression
  • Population differentiation
  • Q -F comparison

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