- Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Black-Samuelsson, Sanna; Eriksson, Gösta; Gustafsson, Lena; Lundkvist, Kenneth
Levels of genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity for two quantitative traits, biomass and fecundity, were investigated in two Swedish and one German population of the rare species Vicia pisiformis. Open pollinated progenies were cultivated under four different temperature conditions in growth chambers. One population, Borgehall, was represented by a sufficient number of families to allow an analysis of within-population variation. For the Borgehall population, large variance components and highly significant family effects for both dry matter production and number of flowers per plant were found. Two measures of phenotypic plasticity (coefficient of variation, CV, and the treatment effect in the analysis of variance), demonstrated a greater response to temperature for number of flowers, than for dry weight. At the population level, the treatment effect and the family within population effect were significant for both variables. Furthermore, the significant population x treatment interaction for flower number indicated genetic variation among populations in temperature response for this trait. The considerable amount of genetic variation in adaptive traits contrasts with the low variation previously detected at the DNA level. It is concluded that the technique chosen to describe genetic variation can have a major impact on the conservation strategy of threatened plant species. Knowledge about the generic variation in quantitative traits and their phenotypic plasticity for conservation of genetic diversity are discussed.
GENETIC VARIATION; PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY; ADAPTIVE TRAITS; VICIA PISIFORMIS; THREATENED SPECIES; GENE CONSERVATION
1995, Volume: 16, number: 3, pages: 261-275