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Abstract Detail


Baker, Robert (Rob) L. [1], Yarkhunova, Yulia [2], Vidal, Katherine [3], Ewers, Brent [3], Weinig, Cynthia [3].

Polyploidy and the relationship between leaf structure and function: implications for correlated evolution of anatomy, morphology, and physiology in Brassica.

Background: Polyploidy is well studied from a genetic and genomic perspective, but the morphological, anatomical, and physiological consequences of polyploidy remain relatively uncharacterized. Whether these potential changes bear on functional integration or are idiosyncratic remains an open question. Repeated allotetraploid events and multiple genomic combinations as well as overlapping targets of artificial selection make the Brassica triangle an excellent system for exploring variation in the connection between plant structure (anatomy and morphology) and function (physiology). We examine phenotypic integration among structural aspects of leaves including external morphology and internal anatomy with leaf-level physiology among several species of Brassica. We compare diploid and allotetraploid species to ascertain patterns of phenotypic correlations among structural and functional traits and test the hypothesis that allotetraploidy results in trait disintegration allowing for transgressive phenotypes and additional evolutionary and crop improvement potential.
Results: Among six Brassica species, we found significant effects of species and ploidy level for morphological, anatomical and physiological traits. We identified three suites of intercorrelated traits in both diploid parents and allotetraploids: Morphological traits (such as leaf area and perimeter) anatomic traits (including ab- and ad- axial epidermis) and aspects of physiology. In general, there were more correlations between structural and functional traits for allotetraploid hybrids than diploid parents. Parents and hybrids did not have any significant structure-function correlations in common. Of particular note, there were no significant correlations between morphological structure and physiological function in the diploid parents. Increased phenotypic integration in the allotetraploid hybrids may be due, in part, to increased trait ranges or simply different structure-function relationships.
Conclusions: Genomic and chromosomal instability in early generation allotetraploids may allow Brassica species to explore new trait space and potentially reach higher adaptive peaks than their progenitor species could, despite temporary fitness costs associated with unstable genomes. The trait correlations that disappear after hybridization as well as the novel trait correlations observed in allotetraploid hybrids may represent relatively evolutionarily labile associations and therefore could be ideal targets for artificial selection and crop improvement.

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Full text, open access .PDF in BMC Plant Biology

1 - University Of Wyoming, Laramie, Department Of Botany, 1000 E University Ave, University Of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, 82071, USA
2 - University of Wyoming, Botany, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY, 82070, USA
3 - University of Wyoming, Botany, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY, 82071, USA

phenotypic integration
leaf anatomy
leaf morphology
leaf physiology
Whole Genome Duplication.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 2, Macroevolution
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 2008
Abstract ID:47
Candidate for Awards:None

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