Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Biol Sci. 2013 May 22;280(1763):20131043. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1043. Print 2013 Jul 22.

Pleiotropy of FRIGIDA enhances the potential for multivariate adaptation.

Author information

1
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Abstract

An evolutionary response to selection requires genetic variation; however, even if it exists, then the genetic details of the variation can constrain adaptation. In the simplest case, unlinked loci and uncorrelated phenotypes respond directly to multivariate selection and permit unrestricted paths to adaptive peaks. By contrast, 'antagonistic' pleiotropic loci may constrain adaptation by affecting variation of many traits and limiting the direction of trait correlations to vectors that are not favoured by selection. However, certain pleiotropic configurations may improve the conditions for adaptive evolution. Here, we present evidence that the Arabidopsis thaliana gene FRI (FRIGIDA) exhibits 'adaptive' pleiotropy, producing trait correlations along an axis that results in two adaptive strategies. Derived, low expression FRI alleles confer a 'drought escape' strategy owing to fast growth, low water use efficiency and early flowering. By contrast, a dehydration avoidance strategy is conferred by the ancestral phenotype of late flowering, slow growth and efficient water use during photosynthesis. The dehydration avoidant phenotype was recovered when genotypes with null FRI alleles were transformed with functional alleles. Our findings indicate that the well-documented effects of FRI on phenology result from differences in physiology, not only a simple developmental switch.

KEYWORDS:

Arabidopsis thaliana; drought; flowering time; water use efficiency

PMID:
23698015
PMCID:
PMC3774242
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2013.1043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center