Changing environments and genetic variation: natural variation in inbreeding does not compromise short-term physiological responses

Buckley, J., Daly, R. , Cobbold, C. A. , Burgess, K. and Mable, B. K. (2019) Changing environments and genetic variation: natural variation in inbreeding does not compromise short-term physiological responses. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 286(1915), 20192109. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.2109) (PMID:31744436)

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Abstract

Selfing plant lineages are surprisingly widespread and successful in a broad range of environments, despite showing reduced genetic diversity, which is predicted to reduce their long-term evolutionary potential. However, appropriate short-term plastic responses to new environmental conditions might not require high levels of standing genetic variation. In this study, we tested whether mating system variation among populations, and associated changes in genetic variability, affected short-term responses to environmental challenges. We compared relative fitness and metabolome profiles of naturally outbreeding (genetically diverse) and inbreeding (genetically depauperate) populations of a perennial plant, Arabidopsis lyrata, under constant growth chamber conditions and an outdoor common garden environment outside its native range. We found no effect of inbreeding on survival, flowering phenology or short-term physiological responses. Specifically, naturally occurring inbreeding had no significant effects on the plasticity of metabolome profiles, using either multivariate approaches or analysis of variation in individual metabolites, with inbreeding populations showing similar physiological responses to outbreeding populations over time in both growing environments. We conclude that low genetic diversity in naturally inbred populations may not always compromise fitness or short-term physiological capacity to respond to environmental change, which could help to explain the global success of selfing mating strategies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burgess, Dr Karl and Mable, Professor Barbara and Cobbold, Dr Christina and Daly, Dr Ronan and Buckley, Dr James
Authors: Buckley, J., Daly, R., Cobbold, C. A., Burgess, K., and Mable, B. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:20 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 286(1915): 20192109
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
Related URLs:
Data DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4725650

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
163861Assessing the impact of plant mating system and ploidy on adaptation to parasitism in changing environmentsBarbara MableNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/H021183/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
173099Mathematical Theory and Biological Applications of DiversityRichard ReeveBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P004202/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine

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