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      Altered gene expression and ecological divergence in sibling allopolyploids of Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)

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          Hybridization and polyploidy are potent forces that have regularly stimulated plant evolution and adaptation. Dactylorhiza majalis s.s., D. traunsteineri s.l. and D. ebudensis are three allopolyploid species of a polyploid complex formed through unidirectional (and, in the first two cases, recurrent) hybridization between the widespread diploids D. fuchsii and D. incarnata. Differing considerably in geographical extent and ecological tolerance, the three allopolyploids together provide a useful system to explore genomic responses to allopolyploidization and reveal their role in adaptation to contrasting environments.


          Analyses of cDNA-AFLPs show a significant increase in the range of gene expression of these allopolyploid lineages, demonstrating higher potential for phenotypic plasticity than is shown by either parent. Moreover, allopolyploid individuals express significantly more gene variants (including novel alleles) than their parents, providing clear evidence of increased biological complexity following allopolyploidization. More genetic mutations seem to have accumulated in the older D. majalis compared with the younger D. traunsteineri since their respective formation.


          Multiple origins of the polyploids contribute to differential patterns of gene expression with a distinct geographic structure. However, several transcripts conserved within each allopolyploid taxon differ between taxa, indicating that habitat preferences shape similar expression patterns in these independently formed tetraploids. Statistical signals separate several transcripts - some of them novel in allopolyploids - that appear correlated with adaptive traits and seem to play a role favouring the persistence of individuals in their native environments. In addition to stabilizing the allopolyploid genome, genetic and epigenetic alterations are key determinants of adaptive success of the new polyploid species after recurrent allopolyploidization events, potentially triggering reproductive isolation between the resulting lineages.

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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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            How to track and assess genotyping errors in population genetics studies.

            Genotyping errors occur when the genotype determined after molecular analysis does not correspond to the real genotype of the individual under consideration. Virtually every genetic data set includes some erroneous genotypes, but genotyping errors remain a taboo subject in population genetics, even though they might greatly bias the final conclusions, especially for studies based on individual identification. Here, we consider four case studies representing a large variety of population genetics investigations differing in their sampling strategies (noninvasive or traditional), in the type of organism studied (plant or animal) and the molecular markers used [microsatellites or amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs)]. In these data sets, the estimated genotyping error rate ranges from 0.8% for microsatellite loci from bear tissues to 2.6% for AFLP loci from dwarf birch leaves. Main sources of errors were allelic dropouts for microsatellites and differences in peak intensities for AFLPs, but in both cases human factors were non-negligible error generators. Therefore, tracking genotyping errors and identifying their causes are necessary to clean up the data sets and validate the final results according to the precision required. In addition, we propose the outline of a protocol designed to limit and quantify genotyping errors at each step of the genotyping process. In particular, we recommend (i) several efficient precautions to prevent contaminations and technical artefacts; (ii) systematic use of blind samples and automation; (iii) experience and rigor for laboratory work and scoring; and (iv) systematic reporting of the error rate in population genetics studies.
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              The significance of responses of the genome to challenge.


                Author and article information

                BMC Evol Biol
                BMC Evolutionary Biology
                BioMed Central
                26 April 2011
                : 11
                : 113
                [1 ]Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
                [2 ]Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, UK
                [3 ]Department of Ecology, Section of Plant Ecology and Systematics, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
                Copyright ©2011 Paun et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Evolutionary Biology


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