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Title: Genetic Divergence and signatures of natural election in marginal populations of a Keystone, long-lived conifer, Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) from Northern Ontario

Author: Chhatre, Vikram E.; Rajora, Om P.;

Date: 2014

Source: PLoS ONE 9(5): e97291

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Marginal populations are expected to provide the frontiers for adaptation, evolution and range shifts of plant species under the anticipated climate change conditions. Marginal populations are predicted to show genetic divergence from central populations due to their isolation, and divergent natural selection and genetic drift operating therein. Marginal populations are also expected to have lower genetic diversity and effective population size (Ne) and higher genetic differentiation than central populations. We tested these hypotheses using eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) as a model for keystone, long-lived widely-distributed plants. All 614 eastern white pine trees, in a complete census of two populations each of marginal oldgrowth, central old-growth, and central second-growth, were genotyped at 11 microsatellite loci. The central populations had significantly higher allelic and genotypic diversity, latent genetic potential (LGP) and Ne than the marginal populations. However, heterozygosity and fixation index were similar between them. The marginal populations were genetically diverged from the central populations. Model testing suggested predominant north to south gene flow in the study area with curtailed gene flow to northern marginal populations. Signatures of natural selection were detected at three loci in the marginal populations; two showing divergent selection with directional change in allele frequencies, and one balancing selection. Contrary to the general belief, no significant differences were observed in genetic diversity, differentiation, LGP, and Ne between old-growth and second-growth populations. Our study provides information on the dynamics of migration, genetic drift and selection in central versus marginal populations of a keystone long-lived plant species and has broad evolutionary, conservation and adaptation significance

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Chhatre, Vikram E.; Rajora, Om P. 2014. Genetic Divergence and signatures of natural election in marginal populations of a Keystone, long-lived conifer, Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) from Northern Ontario. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97291

 


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