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The effects of becoming taller: direct and pleiotropic effects of artificial selection on plant height in Brassica rapa


Zu, Pengjuan; Schiestl, Florian P (2017). The effects of becoming taller: direct and pleiotropic effects of artificial selection on plant height in Brassica rapa. The Plant Journal, 89(5):1009-1019.

Abstract

Plant height is an important trait for plant reproductive success. Plant height is often under pollinator-mediated selection, and has been shown to be correlated with various other traits. However, few studies have examined the evolutionary trajectory of plant height under selection and the pleiotropic effects of plant height evolution. We conducted a bi-directional artificial selection experiment on plant height with fast cycling Brassica rapa plants to estimate its heritability and genetic correlations, and to reveal evolutionary responses to artificial selection on height and various correlated traits. With the divergent lines obtained through artificial selection, we subsequently conducted pollinator-choice assays and investigated resource limitation of fruit production. We found that plant height variation is strongly genetically controlled (with a realized heritability of 41-59%). Thus, plant height can evolve rapidly under phenotypic selection. In addition, we found remarkable pleiotropic effects in phenology, morphology, floral scent, color, nectar and leaf glucosinolates. Most traits were increased in tall-line plants, but flower size, UV reflection and glucosinolates were decreased, indicating potential trade-offs. Pollinators preferred plants of the tall selection lines over the short selection lines in both greenhouse experiments with bumblebees and field experiment with natural pollinators. We did not detect any differences in resource limitation between plants of the different selection lines. Overall, our study predicts that increased height should evolve under positive pollinator-mediated directional selection with potential trade-offs in floral signals and herbivore defense.

Abstract

Plant height is an important trait for plant reproductive success. Plant height is often under pollinator-mediated selection, and has been shown to be correlated with various other traits. However, few studies have examined the evolutionary trajectory of plant height under selection and the pleiotropic effects of plant height evolution. We conducted a bi-directional artificial selection experiment on plant height with fast cycling Brassica rapa plants to estimate its heritability and genetic correlations, and to reveal evolutionary responses to artificial selection on height and various correlated traits. With the divergent lines obtained through artificial selection, we subsequently conducted pollinator-choice assays and investigated resource limitation of fruit production. We found that plant height variation is strongly genetically controlled (with a realized heritability of 41-59%). Thus, plant height can evolve rapidly under phenotypic selection. In addition, we found remarkable pleiotropic effects in phenology, morphology, floral scent, color, nectar and leaf glucosinolates. Most traits were increased in tall-line plants, but flower size, UV reflection and glucosinolates were decreased, indicating potential trade-offs. Pollinators preferred plants of the tall selection lines over the short selection lines in both greenhouse experiments with bumblebees and field experiment with natural pollinators. We did not detect any differences in resource limitation between plants of the different selection lines. Overall, our study predicts that increased height should evolve under positive pollinator-mediated directional selection with potential trade-offs in floral signals and herbivore defense.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:17 Mar 2017 08:57
Last Modified:09 Apr 2017 05:18
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0960-7412
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: The Plant Journal, Volume 89, Issue 5, pages 1009–1019, 2017, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13440. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13440
PubMed ID:27889935

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