|Title||Transgenerational effects of mild heat in Arabidopsis thaliana show strong genotype specificity that is explained by climate at origin|
|Author(s)||Groot, Maartje P.; Kubisch, Alexander; Ouborg, Joop; Pagel, Jorn; Schmid, Karl J.; Vergeer, P.; Lampei, Christian|
|Source||New Phytologist 215 (2017)3. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 1221 - 1234.|
Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Abstract||Transgenerational environmental effects can trigger strong phenotypic variation. However, it is unclear how cues from different preceding generations interact. Also, little is known about the genetic variation for these life history traits.
Here, we present the effects of grandparental and parental mild heat, and their combination, on four traits of the third‐generation phenotype of 14 Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes. We tested for correlations of these effects with climate and constructed a conceptual model to identify the environmental conditions that favour the parental effect on flowering time.
We observed strong evidence for genotype‐specific transgenerational effects. On average, A. thaliana accustomed to mild heat produced more seeds after two generations. Parental effects overruled grandparental effects in all traits except reproductive biomass. Flowering was generally accelerated by all transgenerational effects. Notably, the parental effect triggered earliest flowering in genotypes adapted to dry summers. Accordingly, this parental effect was favoured in the model when early summer heat terminated the growing season and environments were correlated across generations.
Our results suggest that A. thaliana can partly accustom to mild heat over two generations and genotype‐specific parental effects show non‐random evolutionary divergence across populations that may support climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean.