Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Analysis of spatial genetic variation reveals genetic divergence among populations of Primula veris associated to contrasting habitats


Deschepper, Pablo; Brys, Rein; Fortuna, Miguel A; Jacquemyn, Hans (2017). Analysis of spatial genetic variation reveals genetic divergence among populations of Primula veris associated to contrasting habitats. Scientific Reports, 7(1):8847.

Abstract

Genetic divergence by environment is a process whereby selection causes the formation of gene flow barriers between populations adapting to contrasting environments and is often considered to be the onset of speciation. Nevertheless, the extent to which genetic differentiation by environment on small spatial scales can be detected by means of neutral markers is still subject to debate. Previous research on the perennial herb Primula veris has shown that plants from grassland and forest habitats showed pronounced differences in phenology and flower morphology, suggesting limited gene flow between habitats. To test this hypothesis, we sampled 33 populations of P. veris consisting of forest and grassland patches and used clustering techniques and network analyses to identify sets of populations that are more connected to each other than to other sets of populations and estimated the timing of divergence. Our results showed that spatial genetic variation had a significantly modular structure and consisted of four well-defined modules that almost perfectly coincided with habitat features. Genetic divergence was estimated to have occurred about 114 generations ago, coinciding with historic major changes in the landscape. Overall, these results illustrate how populations adapting to different environments become structured genetically within landscapes on small spatial scales.

Abstract

Genetic divergence by environment is a process whereby selection causes the formation of gene flow barriers between populations adapting to contrasting environments and is often considered to be the onset of speciation. Nevertheless, the extent to which genetic differentiation by environment on small spatial scales can be detected by means of neutral markers is still subject to debate. Previous research on the perennial herb Primula veris has shown that plants from grassland and forest habitats showed pronounced differences in phenology and flower morphology, suggesting limited gene flow between habitats. To test this hypothesis, we sampled 33 populations of P. veris consisting of forest and grassland patches and used clustering techniques and network analyses to identify sets of populations that are more connected to each other than to other sets of populations and estimated the timing of divergence. Our results showed that spatial genetic variation had a significantly modular structure and consisted of four well-defined modules that almost perfectly coincided with habitat features. Genetic divergence was estimated to have occurred about 114 generations ago, coinciding with historic major changes in the landscape. Overall, these results illustrate how populations adapting to different environments become structured genetically within landscapes on small spatial scales.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

4 downloads since deposited on 19 Sep 2017
4 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:German
Date:18 August 2017
Deposited On:19 Sep 2017 15:21
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 02:16
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09154-9
PubMed ID:28821787

Download

Download PDF  'Analysis of spatial genetic variation reveals genetic divergence among populations of Primula veris associated to contrasting habitats'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)