Adaptation to Climate Across the Arabidopsis thaliana Genome

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Science  07 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6052, pp. 83-86
DOI: 10.1126/science.1209244

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Understanding the genetic bases and modes of adaptation to current climatic conditions is essential to accurately predict responses to future environmental change. We conducted a genome-wide scan to identify climate-adaptive genetic loci and pathways in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Amino acid–changing variants were significantly enriched among the loci strongly correlated with climate, suggesting that our scan effectively detects adaptive alleles. Moreover, from our results, we successfully predicted relative fitness among a set of geographically diverse A. thaliana accessions when grown together in a common environment. Our results provide a set of candidates for dissecting the molecular bases of climate adaptations, as well as insights about the prevalence of selective sweeps, which has implications for predicting the rate of adaptation.

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