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Genetic variation for leaf morphology, leaf structure and leaf carbon isotope discrimination in European populations of black poplar Populus nigra

Abstract : To buffer against the high spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the riparian habitat, riparian tree species, such as black poplar (Populus nigra L.), may display a high level of genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity for functional traits. Using a multisite common garden experiment, we estimated the relative contribution of genetic and environmental effects on the phenotypic variation expressed for individual leaf area, leaf shape, leaf structure and leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Delta C-13) in natural populations of black poplar. Twenty-four to 62 genotypes were sampled in nine metapopulations covering a latitudinal range from 48A degrees N to 42A degrees N in France and in Italy and grown in two common gardens at Orl,ans (ORL) and at Savigliano (SAV). In the two common gardens, substantial genetic variation was expressed for leaf traits within all metapopulations, but its expression was modulated by the environment, as attested by the genotype x environment (G x E) interaction variance being comparable to or even greater than genetic effects. For LA, G x E interactions were explained by both changes in genotype ranking between common gardens and increased variation in SAV, while these interactions were mainly attributed to changes in genotype ranking for Delta C-13. The nine P. nigra metapopulations were highly differentiated for LA, as attested by the high coefficient of genetic differentiation (Q(ST) = 0.50 at ORL and 0.51 at SAV), and the pattern of metapopulation differentiation was highly conserved between the two common gardens. In contrast, they were moderately differentiated for Delta C-13 (Q(ST) = 0.24 at ORL and 0.25 at SAV) and the metapopulation clustering changed significantly between common gardens. Our results evidenced that the nine P. nigra metapopulations present substantial genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity for leaf traits, which both represent potentially significant determinants of populations' capacities to respond, on a short-term basis and over generations, to environmental variations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 3:11:42 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 5:32:51 PM

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Justine Guet, Francesco Fabbrini, Régis Fichot, Maurizio Sabatti, Catherine Bastien, et al.. Genetic variation for leaf morphology, leaf structure and leaf carbon isotope discrimination in European populations of black poplar Populus nigra. Tree Physiology, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option B, 2015, 32 (8), pp.850 - 863. ⟨10.1093/treephys/tpv056⟩. ⟨hal-02634397⟩

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