Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana

Jesse R. Lasky, David L. Des Marais, David B. Lowry, Inna Povolotskaya, John K. McKay, James H. Richards, Timothy H. Keitt, Thomas E. Juenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gene expression varies widely in natural populations, yet the proximate and ultimate causes of this variation are poorly known. Understanding how variation in gene expression affects abiotic stress tolerance, fitness, and adaptation is central to the field of evolutionary genetics. We tested the hypothesis that genes with natural genetic variation in their expression responses to abiotic stress are likely to be involved in local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Specifically,we compared genes with consistent expression responses to environmental stress (expression stress responsive, "eSR") to genes with genetically variable responses to abiotic stress (expression genotype-by-environment interaction, "eGEI"). We found that on average genes that exhibited eGEI in response to drought or cold had greater polymorphism in promoter regions and stronger associations with climate than those of eSR genes or genomic controls. We also found that transcription factor binding sites known to respond to environmental stressors, especially abscisic acid responsive elements, showed significantly higher polymorphism in drought eGEI genes in comparison to eSR genes. By contrast, eSR genes tended to exhibit relatively greater pairwise haplotype sharing, lower promoter diversity, and fewer nonsynonymous polymorphisms, suggesting purifying selection or selective sweeps. Our results indicate that cis-regulatory evolution and genetic variation in stress responsive gene expression may be important mechanisms of local adaptation to climatic selective gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2283-2296
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Fingerprint

local adaptation
Climate
Arabidopsis
abiotic stress
gene expression
Arabidopsis thaliana
climate
Gene Expression
gene
Genes
genes
polymorphism
Droughts
genetic polymorphism
genetic variation
drought
promoter regions
Abscisic Acid
abscisic acid
environmental stress

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Lasky, J. R., Des Marais, D. L., Lowry, D. B., Povolotskaya, I., McKay, J. K., Richards, J. H., ... Juenger, T. E. (2014). Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular biology and evolution, 31(9), 2283-2296. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu170
Lasky, Jesse R. ; Des Marais, David L. ; Lowry, David B. ; Povolotskaya, Inna ; McKay, John K. ; Richards, James H. ; Keitt, Timothy H. ; Juenger, Thomas E. / Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. In: Molecular biology and evolution. 2014 ; Vol. 31, No. 9. pp. 2283-2296.
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Lasky, JR, Des Marais, DL, Lowry, DB, Povolotskaya, I, McKay, JK, Richards, JH, Keitt, TH & Juenger, TE 2014, 'Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana', Molecular biology and evolution, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 2283-2296. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu170

Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. / Lasky, Jesse R.; Des Marais, David L.; Lowry, David B.; Povolotskaya, Inna; McKay, John K.; Richards, James H.; Keitt, Timothy H.; Juenger, Thomas E.

In: Molecular biology and evolution, Vol. 31, No. 9, 09.2014, p. 2283-2296.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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