Genome size variation among accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT Estimates of the amount of nuclear DNA of Arabidopsis thaliana, known to be among the lowest within angiosperms, vary considerably. This study aimed to determine genome size of a range of accessions from throughout the entire Eurasian range of the species.
Twenty accessions from all over Europe and one from Japan were examined using flow cytometry.
Significant differences in mean C-values were detected over a 1.1-fold range. Mean haploid (1C) genome size was 0.215 pg (211 Mbp) for all analysed accessions. Two accessions were tetraploid.
A closer investigation of the DNA fractions involved in intraspecific genome size differences in this experimentally accessible species may provide information on the factors involved in stability and evolution of genome sizes.
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ABSTRACT: Understanding the mechanisms of community coexistence and ecosystem functioning may help to counteract the current biodiversity loss and its potentially harmful consequences. In recent years, plant–soil feedback that can, for example, be caused by below-ground microorganisms has been suggested to play a role in maintaining plant coexistence and to be a potential driver of the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning. Most of the studies addressing these topics have focused on the species level. However, in addition to interspecific interactions, intraspecific interactions might be important for the structure of natural communities. Here, we examine intraspecific coexistence and intraspecific diversity effects using 10 natural accessions of the model species Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. We assessed morphological intraspecific diversity by measuring several above- and below-ground traits. We performed a plant–soil feedback experiment that was based on these trait differences between the accessions in order to determine whether A. thaliana experiences feedback at intraspecific level as a result of trait differences. We also experimentally tested the diversity–productivity relationship at intraspecific level. We found strong differences in above- and below-ground traits between the A. thaliana accessions. Overall, plant–soil feedback occurred at intraspecific level. However, accessions differed in the direction and strength of this feedback: Some accessions grew better on their own soils, some on soils from other accessions. Furthermore, we found positive diversity effects within A. thaliana: Accession mixtures produced a higher total above-ground biomass than accession monocultures. Differences between accessions in their feedback response could not be explained by morphological traits. Therefore, we suggest that they might have been caused by accession-specific accumulated soil communities, by root exudates, or by accession-specific resource use based on genetic differences that are not expressed in morphological traits. Synthesis. Our results provide some of the first evidence for intraspecific plant–soil feedback and intraspecific overyielding. These findings may have wider implications for the maintenance of variation within species and the importance of this variation for ecosystem functioning. Our results highlight the need for an increased focus on intraspecific processes in plant diversity research to fully understand the mechanisms of coexistence and ecosystem functioning.Ecology and Evolution 04/2014; · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Wild relatives in the genus Arabidopsis are recognized as useful model systems to study traits and evolutionary processes in outcrossing species, which are often difficult or even impossible to investigate in the selfing and annual Arabidopsis thaliana. However, Arabidopsis as a genus is littered with sub-species and ecotypes which make realizing the potential of these non-model Arabidopsis lineages problematic. There are relatively few evolutionary studies which comprehensively characterize the gene pools across all of the Arabidopsis supra-groups and hypothesized evolutionary lineages and none include sampling at a world-wide scale. Here we explore the gene pools of these various taxa using various molecular markers and cytological analyses.ResultsBased on ITS, microsatellite, chloroplast and nuclear DNA content data we demonstrate the presence of three major evolutionary groups broadly characterized as A. lyrata group, A. halleri group and A. arenosa group. All are composed of further species and sub-species forming larger aggregates. Depending on the resolution of the marker, a few closely related taxa such as A. pedemontana, A. cebennensis and A. croatica are also clearly distinct evolutionary lineages. ITS sequences and a population-based screen based on microsatellites were highly concordant. The major gene pools identified by ITS sequences were also significantly differentiated by their homoploid nuclear DNA content estimated by flow cytometry. The chloroplast genome provided less resolution than the nuclear data, and it remains unclear whether the extensive haplotype sharing apparent between taxa results from gene flow or incomplete lineage sorting in this relatively young group of species with Pleistocene origins.Conclusions Our study provides a comprehensive overview of the genetic variation within and among the various taxa of the genus Arabidopsis. The resolved gene pools and evolutionary lineages will set the framework for future comparative studies on genetic diversity. Extensive population-based phylogeographic studies will also be required, however, in particular for A. arenosa and their affiliated taxa and cytotypes.BMC Evolutionary Biology 10/2014; 14(1):224. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Polyploidization and subsequent changes in genome size are fundamental processes in evolution and diversification. Little is currently known about the extent of genome size variation within taxa and the evolutionary forces acting on this variation. Arabidopsis kamchatica has been reported to contain both diploid and tetraploid individuals. The aim of this study was to determine the genome size of A. kamchatica, whether there is variation in ploidy and/or genome size in A. kamchatica, and to study how genome size has evolved. We used propidium iodide flow cytometry to measure 2C DNA content of 73 plants from 25 geographically diverse populations of the putative allotetraploid Arabidopsis kamchatica and its parents, A. lyrata and A. halleri. All A. kamchatica plants appear to be tetraploids. The mean 2C DNA content of A. kamchatica was 1.034 pg (1011 Mbp), which is slightly smaller than the sum of its diploid parents (A.lyrata: 0.502 pg, A. halleri: 0.571 pg). A. kamchatica appears to have lost approximately 37.594 Mbp (3.6%) of DNA from its 2C genome. Tetraploid A. lyrata from Germany and Austria appear to have lost approximately 70.366 Mbp (7.2%) of DNA from the 2C genome, possibly due to hybridization with A. arenosa, which has a smaller genome than A. lyrata. We did find genome size differences among A. kamchatica populations, which varied up to 7%. A. kamchatica ssp. kawasakiana from Japan appears to have a slightly larger genome than A. kamchatica ssp. kamchatica from North America, perhaps due to multiple allopolyploid origins or hybridization with A. halleri. However, the among population coefficient of variation in 2C DNA content is lower in A. kamchatica than in other Arabidopsis taxa. Due to its close relationship to A. thaliana, A. kamchatica has the potential to be very useful in the study of polyploidy and genome evolution.AoB PLANTS 05/2014; · 1.73 Impact Factor