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Genetic changes in flowering and morphology in response to adaptation to a high-latitude environment in Arabidopsis lyrata
University of Oulu, Finland.
University of Oulu, Finland.
University of Oulu, Finland.
University of Oulu, Finland. (Patrik Waldmann)
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2013 (English)In: Annals of Botany, ISSN 0305-7364, E-ISSN 1095-8290, Vol. 111, no 5, 957-968 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and Aims  

The adaptive plastic reactions of plant populations to changing climatic factors, such as winter temperatures and photoperiod, have changed during range shifts after the last glaciation. Timing of flowering is an adaptive trait regulated by environmental cues. Its genetics has been intensively studied in annual plants, but in perennials it is currently not well characterized. This study examined the genetic basis of differentiation in flowering time, morphology, and their plastic responses to vernalization in two locally adapted populations of the perennial Arabidopsis lyrata: (1) to determine whether the two populations differ in their vernalization responses for flowering phenology and morphology; and (2) to determine the genomic areas governing differentiation and vernalization responses.


Two A. lyrata populations, from central Europe and Scandinavia, were grown in growth-chamber conditions with and without cold treatment. A QTL analysis was performed to find genomic regions that interact with vernalization.

Key Results   

The population from central Europe flowered more rapidly and invested more in inflorescence growth than the population from alpine Scandinavia, especially after vernalization. The alpine population had consistently a low number of inflorescences and few flowers, suggesting strong constraints due to a short growing season, but instead had longer leaves and higher leaf rosettes. QTL mapping in the F2 population revealed genomic regions governing differentiation in flowering time and morphology and, in some cases, the allelic effects from the two populations on a trait were influenced by vernalization (QTL × vernalization interactions).


The results indicate that many potentially adaptive genetic changes have occurred during colonization; the two populations have diverged in their plastic responses to vernalization in traits closely connected to fitness through changes in many genomic areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2013. Vol. 111, no 5, 957-968 p.
Keyword [en]
Arabidopsis lyrata, Brassicaceae, growth chamber, local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, QTL, vernalization, flowering, morphology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91434DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct055PubMedID: 23519836OAI: diva2:617849
Available from: 2013-04-24 Created: 2013-04-24 Last updated: 2015-02-18

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