|Title||Altitudinal and climatic associations of seed dormancy and flowering traits evidence adaptation of annual life cycle timing in Arabidopsis thaliana|
|Author(s)||Souza Vidigal, Deborah de; Correia Silva Santana Marques, Alexandre; Willems, Leo A.J.; Buijs, Gonda; Méndez-Vigo, Belén; Hilhorst, Henk W.M.; Bentsink, Leónie; Picó, F.X.; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos|
|Source||Plant, Cell & Environment 39 (2016)8. - ISSN 0140-7791 - p. 1737 - 1748.|
Laboratory of Plant Physiology
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||cis-regulation - Climate - DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1) - Flowering time - Natural variation|
The temporal control or timing of the life cycle of annual plants is presumed to provide adaptive strategies to escape harsh environments for survival and reproduction. This is mainly determined by the timing of germination, which is controlled by the level of seed dormancy, and of flowering initiation. However, the environmental factors driving the evolution of plant life cycles remain largely unknown. To address this question we have analysed nine quantitative life history traits, in a native regional collection of 300 wild accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana. Seed dormancy and flowering time were negatively correlated, indicating that these traits have coevolved. In addition, environmental-phenotypic analyses detected strong altitudinal and climatic clines for most life history traits. Overall, accessions showing life cycles with early flowering, small seeds, high seed dormancy and slow germination rate were associated with locations exposed to high temperature, low summer precipitation and high radiation. Furthermore, we analysed the expression level of the positive regulator of seed dormancy DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1), finding similar but weaker altitudinal and climatic patterns than seed dormancy. Therefore, DOG1 regulatory mutations are likely to provide a quantitative molecular mechanism for the adaptation of A. thaliana life cycle to altitude and climate.