Remington, David L. .
Genetics of resource allocation trade-offs in Arabidopsis lyrata.
Trade-offs in resource allocation between current reproduction vs. continued survival represent a fundamental aspect of life history evolution. Resource allocation patterns have been extensively studied in plants using demographic, ecological, and quantitative genetic approaches, but the responsible genetic mechanisms remain largely unknown. The rock cress Arabidopsis lyrata has outstanding potential as a model system for elucidating these genetic mechanisms because the extensive array of genomic resources developed in Arabidopsis thaliana can be readily applied and A. lyrataís genome is itself being sequenced. Moreover, unlike A. thaliana, A. lyrata is an iteroparous perennial plant that must allocate resources to continued vegetative maintenance as well as reproduction. The objectives of this research are to test the hypotheses that (a) A. lyrata populations in North America and Europe show genetic variation in resource allocation patterns; and (b) A. lyrata populations show varying degrees of phenotypic plasticity in allocation patterns in response to environmental variation. These hypotheses were tested using a North Carolina field trial with plants descended from four natural populations, two each from North America and Europe, and from an F2 family from a cross between North American and European parents. We found significant variation both between and within populations in allocation to reproduction and vegetative development during the flowering season, negative genetic correlations between vegetative and reproductive output, and significant population-by-environment interactions in trait values. These results show that resource allocation patterns and their phenotypic plasticity are highly variable in A. lyrata, and suggest that at least some of the variation is due to effects of genes that directly mediate trade-offs in resource allocation. Implications of these results for detailed analysis of the underlying genetic processes will be discussed.
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David Remington home page
1 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Biology, Po Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402-6170, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Huron/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 4:00 PM