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      Are there morphological and life‐history traits under climate‐dependent differential selection in S Tunesian Diplotaxis harra (Forssk.) Boiss. (Brassicaceae) populations?


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          Adaptation of morphological, physiological, or life‐history traits of a plant species to heterogeneous habitats through the process of natural selection is a paramount process in evolutionary biology. We have used a population genomic approach to disentangle selection‐based and demography‐based variation in morphological and life‐history traits in the crucifer Diplotaxis harra (Forssk.) Boiss. (Brassicaceae) encountered in populations along aridity gradients in S Tunisia. We have genotyped 182 individuals from 12 populations of the species ranging from coastal to semidesert habitats using amplified fragment length polymorphism ( AFLP) fingerprinting and assessed a range of morphological and life‐history traits from their progeny cultivated under common‐garden conditions. Application of three different statistical approaches for searching AFLP loci under selection allowed us to characterize candidate loci, for which their association with the traits assessed was tested for statistical significance and correlation with climate data. As a key result of this study, we find that only the shape of cauline leaves seems to be under differential selection along the aridity gradient in S Tunisian populations of Diplotaxis harra, while for all other traits studied neutral biogeographical and/or random factors could not be excluded as explanation for the variation observed. The counter‐intuitive finding that plants from populations with more arid habitats produce broader leaves under optimal conditions of cultivation than those from more mesic habitats is interpreted as being ascribable to selection for a higher plasticity in this trait under more unpredictable semidesert conditions compared to the more predictable ones in coastal habitats.

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            AFLP: a new technique for DNA fingerprinting.

            A novel DNA fingerprinting technique called AFLP is described. The AFLP technique is based on the selective PCR amplification of restriction fragments from a total digest of genomic DNA. The technique involves three steps: (i) restriction of the DNA and ligation of oligonucleotide adapters, (ii) selective amplification of sets of restriction fragments, and (iii) gel analysis of the amplified fragments. PCR amplification of restriction fragments is achieved by using the adapter and restriction site sequence as target sites for primer annealing. The selective amplification is achieved by the use of primers that extend into the restriction fragments, amplifying only those fragments in which the primer extensions match the nucleotides flanking the restriction sites. Using this method, sets of restriction fragments may be visualized by PCR without knowledge of nucleotide sequence. The method allows the specific co-amplification of high numbers of restriction fragments. The number of fragments that can be analyzed simultaneously, however, is dependent on the resolution of the detection system. Typically 50-100 restriction fragments are amplified and detected on denaturing polyacrylamide gels. The AFLP technique provides a novel and very powerful DNA fingerprinting technique for DNAs of any origin or complexity.
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              The strength of phenotypic selection in natural populations.

              How strong is phenotypic selection on quantitative traits in the wild? We reviewed the literature from 1984 through 1997 for studies that estimated the strength of linear and quadratic selection in terms of standardized selection gradients or differentials on natural variation in quantitative traits for field populations. We tabulated 63 published studies of 62 species that reported over 2,500 estimates of linear or quadratic selection. More than 80% of the estimates were for morphological traits; there is very little data for behavioral or physiological traits. Most published selection studies were unreplicated and had sample sizes below 135 individuals, resulting in low statistical power to detect selection of the magnitude typically reported for natural populations. The absolute values of linear selection gradients |beta| were exponentially distributed with an overall median of 0.16, suggesting that strong directional selection was uncommon. The values of |beta| for selection on morphological and on life-history/phenological traits were significantly different: on average, selection on morphology was stronger than selection on phenology/life history. Similarly, the values of |beta| for selection via aspects of survival, fecundity, and mating success were significantly different: on average, selection on mating success was stronger than on survival. Comparisons of estimated linear selection gradients and differentials suggest that indirect components of phenotypic selection were usually modest relative to direct components. The absolute values of quadratic selection gradients |gamma| were exponentially distributed with an overall median of only 0.10, suggesting that quadratic selection is typically quite weak. The distribution of gamma values was symmetric about 0, providing no evidence that stabilizing selection is stronger or more common than disruptive selection in nature.

                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                15 December 2017
                January 2018
                : 8
                : 2 ( doiID: 10.1002/ece3.2018.8.issue-2 )
                : 1047-1062
                [ 1 ] Evolutionary and Systematic Botany Group Institute of Plant Sciences University of Regensburg Regensburg Germany
                [ 2 ]Present address: General Botany and Plant Systematics Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald Greifswald Germany
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Christoph Oberprieler, Evolutionary and Systematic Botany Group, Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

                Email: christoph.oberprieler@ 123456ur.de

                Author information
                © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 08 September 2017
                : 10 November 2017
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 5, Pages: 16, Words: 13538
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                January 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version=5.3.1 mode:remove_FC converted:18.01.2018

                Evolutionary Biology
                adaptation,aridity,cruciferae,phenotypic plasticity,population genomics
                Evolutionary Biology
                adaptation, aridity, cruciferae, phenotypic plasticity, population genomics


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