Study : Arabidopsis thaliana introduced populations


Arabidopsis thaliana introduced populations
A long-standing question in evolutionary biology is whether the evolution of convergent phenotypes results from selection on the same heritable genetic components. Using whole genome sequencing and genome scans, we tested whether the evolution of parallel longitudinal flowering time clines in the native and introduced ranges of Arabidopsis thaliana has a similar genetic basis. We found that common variants of large effect on flowering time in the native range do not appear to have been under recent strong selection in the introduced range. Genes in regions of the genome implicated as being under selection for flowering time and those containing variants over-differentiated between early and late flowering genotypes are not enriched for functions related to development or environmental sensing. We identified a set of 53 new candidate genes putatively linked to the evolution of flowering time in the species introduced range. A high degree of conditional neutrality of flowering time variants between the native and introduced range may preclude adaptation from standing variation that would contribute strongly to parallel evolution at the level of genes. Overall, neither gene pleiotropy nor available standing genetic variation appears to have restricted the evolution of flowering time in the introduced range to high frequency variants from the native range or to known flowering time pathway genes.


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