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Narrow-sense heritability and P-ST estimates of DNA methylation in three Populus nigra L. populations under contrasting water availability

Abstract : In a context of climate change and forest decline, a better understanding of the sources of tree flexibility involved in phenotypic plasticity and adaptation is needed. These last years, the role of epigenetics in the response to environmental variations has been established in several model plants at the genotype level but little is known at the level of natural populations grown in pedoclimatic sites. Here, we focused on three French natural populations of black poplar, a key pioneer tree from watersheds, planted in common garden and subjected to controlled variations of water availability. We estimated common genetic parameters such as narrow-sense heritability (h(2)), phenotypic differentiation index (P-ST), and the overall genetic differentiation index (F-ST) from genome-wide SNPs to evaluate the extent of epigenetic variations. Indeed, global DNA methylation levels from individuals exposed to drought or irrigated in a common garden were used. We found that the three populations were not distinguished by their levels of DNA methylation. However, a moderate drought was associated to a significant decrease in DNA methylation in the populations. Narrow-sense heritability and P-ST estimates of DNA methylation were similar to those found for biomass productivity. Heritability and P-ST were higher when trees were subjected to drought than in control condition. Negative genetic correlations between global DNA methylation and height or biomass were detected in drought condition only. Altogether, our data highlight that global DNA methylation acts as a genetic marker of natural population differentiation under drought stress in a pedoclimatic context.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02624096
Contributor : Migration Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 10:34:36 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 4:40:03 PM

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Mamadou Dia Sow, Vincent Segura, Sylvain Chamaillard, Véronique Jorge, Alain Delaunay, et al.. Narrow-sense heritability and P-ST estimates of DNA methylation in three Populus nigra L. populations under contrasting water availability. Tree Genetics and Genomes, Springer Verlag, 2018, 14 (5), ⟨10.1007/s11295-018-1293-6⟩. ⟨hal-02624096⟩

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