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Species-specific alleles at a β-tubulin gene show significant associations with leaf morphological variation within Quercus petraea and Q. robur populations

Abstract : Quercus petraea and Q. robur are largely sympatric oak species in western and central Europe and known for their intensive genetic exchange which has made the discovery of species-diagnostic markers a huge challenge. Various natural white oak populations (Q. petraea/Q. robur including mixed stands) were investigated for their variability and differentiation patterns at a β-tubulin gene (qutub8) in a European-wide survey. This gene was chosen as a possible candidate among loci subjected to selection and maintaining integrity between species. Two frequent alleles depicted as indels within qutub8’s first intron showed remarkably high interspecific genetic differentiation, with Weir and Cockerham’s theta per allele values ranging from 0.17 to 0.30 for one allele and from 0.04 to 0.19 for the other allele in such mixed oak stands where the multi-allelic qutub8 locus showed significant interspecific FST. For three mixed stands, qutub8’s FST significantly departed from the expected neutral differentiation patterns (FST ranging from 0.063 to 0.080 for this multi-allelic marker) and thus could be influenced by selection. Significant associations were found between genotypic variation and leaf dimensions as well as leaf structure patterns, after having accounted for species and stand effects. Qutub8 represents a locus that exhibits significant species differentiation and is linked to morphological discriminant traits. Consequently, qutub8 likely contributes to species divergence within the European white oak complex.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 4:03:25 PM
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Ilga Porth, Pauline Garnier‐géré, Jaroslav Klápště, Caroline Scotti-Saintagne, Yousry A. El-Kassaby, et al.. Species-specific alleles at a β-tubulin gene show significant associations with leaf morphological variation within Quercus petraea and Q. robur populations. Tree Genetics and Genomes, Springer Verlag, 2016, 12 (4), 13 p. ⟨10.1007/s11295-016-1041-8⟩. ⟨hal-02634711⟩

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