Genetics

Adaptive Differentiation in Barley

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Science  18 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5887, pp. 319
DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5887.319a

Variation in response to local conditions that affect growth and reproduction is a crucial means by which plants optimize their fitness. However, the underlying genetic loci that control differences between populations are generally unknown. Verhoeven et al. have investigated the local adaptation in two wild barley populations by measuring the response to habitat in lines with mapped quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting flowering time, relative growth rate, and seed weight. When individuals were transplanted reciprocally between environments, there were differences in the degree of selection on QTLs affecting flowering time, suggesting that it is a target of habitat-specific natural selection and that this adaptation may contribute to population-level divergence. — LMZ

Mol. Ecol. 17, 3416 (2008).

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