Timing of shoot development transitions affects degree of perenniality in Arabidopsis lyrata (Brassicaceae)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David L. Remington, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: BackgroundPerenniality is best understood in quantitative terms, involving the relationship betweenproduction vs. turnover of meristems, biomass, or energy reserves. Previous quantitative traitlocus (QTL) studies using divergent populations of the perennial rock cress Arabidopsislyrata have shown that trade-offs in vegetative growth vs. reproduction are due to cascadingeffects of differences in early vegetative development, which contribute to local adaptation.However, details of the developmental differences and how they affect perenniality remainedunclear. In this study, we investigated in detail the developmental differences in perennialitybetween populations. A. lyratafrom Norway and North Carolina populations, representingcontrasting environments and degrees of perenniality, were grown under controlled conditions,and data were collected on plant phenology and shoot-level development. We tested hypothesesthat differences in perenniality involve strict allocation of lateral meristems to vegetative vs.reproductive fates, or alternatively quantitative effects of pre-reproductive vegetativedevelopment.ResultsThe two populations showed large differences in the degree of vegetative development onindividual shoots prior to reproductive transitions. The number of leaves produced on shootsprior to bolting, and not strict meristem allocation or variation in apical dominance, was able toexplain variation in the number of inflorescences on individual plants. These results suggestedthat allocation of time to shoot vegetative vs. reproductive development could be a major factorin resource allocation differences between the populations.ConclusionsBased on these results and those of previous QTL studies, we propose a model in which thedegree of shoot vegetative development shapes the developmental context for reproduction andsubsequent vegetative growth in different environments. Climate-specific effects of shootdevelopment patterns on reproductive output and survival may result in divergent evolutionarytrajectories along a perenniality continuum, which may have broader relevance for plant lifehistory evolution.

Additional Information

BMC Plant Biology
Language: English
Date: 2015
Perenniality, Arbidopsis lyrata, vegetative development, plants

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