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New Phytol. 2008;178(2):436-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02361.x. Epub 2008 Jan 16.

Genome-wide association to fine-scale ecological heterogeneity within a continuous population of Biscutella laevigata (Brassicaceae).

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, Biophore, quartier Sorges, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Gene flow, drift and selection can be detected through different signatures across the genome and the landscape. Genetic discontinuities along with their correlation to environmental features can be used to tease out isolation-by-distance and isolation-by-time from processes related to selection. Using spatial statistics (spatial autocorrelation methods, canonical correspondence analysis and partial Mantel tests) dealing with genome-wide amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) under unlikely Hardy-Weinberg assumptions, this study investigates 124 individuals within a continuous population of the autopolyploid Biscutella laevigata (Brassicaceae). Fine-scale spatial genetic structure was strong and the mosaic-like distribution of AFLP genotypes was consistently associated with habitat factors, even when controlled for geographical distances. The use of multivariate analyses enabled separation of the factors responsible for the repartition of the genetic variance and revealed a composite effect of isolation by distance, phenological divergence and local adaptation to habitats characterised by different solar radiation regimes. These results suggest that the immigrant inviability barrier facilitated the maintenance of adapted subpopulations to distinct environmental conditions at the local scale.

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