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PLoS One. 2013 May 23;8(5):e61075. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061075. Print 2013.

Co-variation between seed dormancy, growth rate and flowering time changes with latitude in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Author information

1
Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes-Microorganismes, CNRS UMR2594, Castanet-Tolosan, France. marilyne.debieu@gmail.com

Abstract

Life-history traits controlling the duration and timing of developmental phases in the life cycle jointly determine fitness. Therefore, life-history traits studied in isolation provide an incomplete view on the relevance of life-cycle variation for adaptation. In this study, we examine genetic variation in traits covering the major life history events of the annual species Arabidopsis thaliana: seed dormancy, vegetative growth rate and flowering time. In a sample of 112 genotypes collected throughout the European range of the species, both seed dormancy and flowering time follow a latitudinal gradient independent of the major population structure gradient. This finding confirms previous studies reporting the adaptive evolution of these two traits. Here, however, we further analyze patterns of co-variation among traits. We observe that co-variation between primary dormancy, vegetative growth rate and flowering time also follows a latitudinal cline. At higher latitudes, vegetative growth rate is positively correlated with primary dormancy and negatively with flowering time. In the South, this trend disappears. Patterns of trait co-variation change, presumably because major environmental gradients shift with latitude. This pattern appears unrelated to population structure, suggesting that changes in the coordinated evolution of major life history traits is adaptive. Our data suggest that A. thaliana provides a good model for the evolution of trade-offs and their genetic basis.

PMID:
23717385
PMCID:
PMC3662791
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0061075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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