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PLoS Genet. 2010 Nov 11;6(11):e1001193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001193.

A coastal cline in sodium accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana is driven by natural variation of the sodium transporter AtHKT1;1.

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1
United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Plant Genetics Research Unit, Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.

Abstract

The genetic model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, like many plant species, experiences a range of edaphic conditions across its natural habitat. Such heterogeneity may drive local adaptation, though the molecular genetic basis remains elusive. Here, we describe a study in which we used genome-wide association mapping, genetic complementation, and gene expression studies to identify cis-regulatory expression level polymorphisms at the AtHKT1;1 locus, encoding a known sodium (Na(+)) transporter, as being a major factor controlling natural variation in leaf Na(+) accumulation capacity across the global A. thaliana population. A weak allele of AtHKT1;1 that drives elevated leaf Na(+) in this population has been previously linked to elevated salinity tolerance. Inspection of the geographical distribution of this allele revealed its significant enrichment in populations associated with the coast and saline soils in Europe. The fixation of this weak AtHKT1;1 allele in these populations is genetic evidence supporting local adaptation to these potentially saline impacted environments.

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PMID:
21085628
PMCID:
PMC2978683
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1001193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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