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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Quantitative genetic architecture of adaptive phenology traits in the deciduous tree, Populus trichocarpa (Torr. And Gray)

Richards, Thomas J.; Karacic, Almir; Apuli, Rami-Petteri; Weih, Martin; Ingvarsson, Par K.; Ronnberg-Wastljung, Ann Christin

Abstract

In a warming climate, the ability to accurately predict and track shifting environmental conditions will be fundamental for plant survival. Environmental cues define the transitions between growth and dormancy as plants synchronise development with favourable environmental conditions, however these cues are predicted to change under future climate projections which may have profound impacts on tree survival and growth. Here, we use a quantitative genetic approach to estimate the genetic basis of spring and autumn phenology inPopulus trichocarpato determine this species capacity for climate adaptation. We measured bud burst, leaf coloration, and leaf senescence traits across two years (2017-2018) and combine these observations with measures of lifetime growth to determine how genetic correlations between phenology and growth may facilitate or constrain adaptation. Timing of transitions differed between years, although we found strong cross year genetic correlations in all traits, suggesting that genotypes respond in consistent ways to seasonal cues. Spring and autumn phenology were correlated with lifetime growth, where genotypes that burst leaves early and shed them late had the highest lifetime growth. We also identified substantial heritable variation in the timing of all phenological transitions (h(2) = 0.5-0.8) and in lifetime growth (h(2) = 0.8). The combination of additive variation and favourable genetic correlations in phenology traits suggests that populations of cultivated varieties of P. Trichocarpa may have the capability to adapt their phenology to climatic changes without negative impacts on growth.

Published in

Heredity
2020, volume: 125, number: 6, pages: 449-458

Authors' information

Richards, Thomas
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Biology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41437-020-00363-z

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/107693