|Keywords||heavy-metal tolerance, QTL, reciprocal transplant experiment, reproductive isolation, serpentine, speciation|
|Abstract||1 Understanding the mechanisms underlying speciation is a key problem of evolutionary biology. Studies on the genetic basis of adaptation to particular site factors and the role of these adaptations in plant speciation are fundamental to our understanding of the origin of plant biodiversity. In this project, we study the genetic basis of adaptation to serpentine soil as an incipient step in habitat-driven speciation in the bladder campion, Silene vulgaris. 2 Previous studies have shown that Silene vulgaris plants growing on serpentine soil near Davos (CH) and plants growing in neighbouring non-serpentine areas are morphologically distinct and differ largely in tolerance to high nickel concentration. We will carry out pollination experiments to test whether reproductive isolation has already evolved between neighbouring serpentine-adapted and non-adapted populations in Davos and if so, if barriers are genetically determined or habitat-induced. 3 The genetic architecture of adaptation to the serpentine habitat will be studied by constructing a linkage map in an F2 population resulting from a cross between a tolerant and a non-tolerant plant. Mapped molecular markers will then be correlated with morphological traits of plants and with physiological tolerance to high Ni concentration and low Ca/ Mg ratio to determine quantitative trait loci (QTL) for adaptation to serpentine soil. 4 To study the relevance of particular QTL for plant performance under natural conditions, cuttings of plants used in genetic mapping will be transplanted into the field at sites with serpentine and non-serpentine soils. The performance of transplants will be monitored during two growing seasons. 5 This combination of genetic mapping with physiological studies and tests of the ecological performance of the same plants under natural conditions will make it possible to study relationships between adaptation and fitness at a much finer scale than population-level studies. The results of our project should therefore considerably increase our understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation and, eventually, of speciation in plants.|
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|Name||Affiliation||Home page||Total pubs|
|Baltisberger M||Geobotanical Institute ETH, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich||1|
|Bratteler M||Geobotanical Institute ETH, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich||1|
|Edwards PJ||Research Institute for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL), Postfach, CH-8046 Zurich, Switzerland||5|
|Widmer A||Indiana University, Biology Department, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA||1|
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