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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics/Genomics

MOODY, MICHAEL LEE [1], Mohl, Jonathon [2], Fetcher, Ned [3], Tang, Jim [4], Stunz, Elizabeth [5].

Population genomics and gene flow of the dominant arctic moist tundra sedge, tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), in the context of local adaptation and climate change.

The arctic is facing some of the most extreme effects of global climate change, which could have long term consequences for the composition of its vegetation. Tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) is the dominant sedge in the moist tundra ecosystem of northern Alaska. Reciprocal transplant studies have shown home site advantage for flowering and survival along a north/south latitudinal gradient for this sedge. It has also been shown that southern ecotypes have high survival when moved north, whereas southern ecotypes are at a disadvantage when moved south. This may have consequences as northern populations face a rapidly changing climate. While ecological studies have been extensive in this system, genetic structure, gene flow or the genetics of adaptation have not been addressed. Gene flow will have a crucial role in this system given local adaptation and the likelihood that plants adapted to the northern end of its distribution will face future climate shifts that will be more similar to conditions now in the south of its range. We use NGS ddRAD SNP data and transcriptomics to begin to understand the genetic basis of ecotype variation among E. vaginatum populations. We sampled across 14 populations along a latitudinal gradient in Northern Alaska for population genomic studies. We also used comparative transcriptomics to determine variation in level of gene expression in common garden experiments for 6 ecotypes from across the range. Population genomic studies uncovered gene flow restrictions based on the northern limit for trees that is congruent with results recognizing north/south ecotypic differences. However, fine scale differences were not found that are congruent with home site advantage throughout the range. Samples of E. vaginatum in the high elevation Southeastern part of the range formed a unique cluster strongly differentiated from all other populations sampled. There is a clear historical disruption of gene flow at the tree-line boundary and potentially ecological limits.

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Related Links:
Plant Evolution Lab - UTEP
Local Adaptation in a Dominant Arctic Tundra Sedge

1 - University Of Texas At El Paso, Department Of Biology, 500 W. University Ave., Bioscience Bldg 2.120, El Paso, TX, 79968, USA
2 - University of Texas at El Paso, Bioinformatics Program, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, Texas, 79968, United States
3 - Wilkes University, Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability
4 - Marine Biological Laboratory, The Ecosystems Center
5 - University of Texas at El Paso, Biological Sciences, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, Texas, 79968, United States

population structure
gene flow

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 40, Population Genetics/Genomics
Location: Sundance 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 40002
Abstract ID:120
Candidate for Awards:None

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