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. 2019 Jan;61(1):12-24.
doi: 10.1111/dgd.12578. Epub 2018 Nov 25.

Plant Adaptation and Speciation Studied by Population Genomic Approaches


Plant Adaptation and Speciation Studied by Population Genomic Approaches

Masaru Bamba et al. Dev Growth Differ. .


Ever since Darwin, one of the major challenges in evolutionary biology is to unravel the process and mechanisms of adaptation and speciation. Population genomics-the analysis of whole-genome polymorphism data from large population samples-is a critical approach to study adaptation and speciation, as population genomics datasets enable us to: (1) perform genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to find genes underlying adaptive phenotypic variations; (2) scan the footprints of selection across the genome to pinpoint loci under selection; and (3) infer the structure and demographic history of populations. Here, we review recent studies of plants using population genomics, covering those focusing on interactions with other organisms, adaptations to local climatic conditions, and the genomic causes and consequences of reproductive isolation. Integrative studies involving GWAS, selection scans, functional studies, and fitness measurements in the field have successfully identified loci for adaptation, revealed the molecular basis of genetic trade-offs, and shown that fitness can be predicted by polygenic effects of a number of loci associated with local climate. We highlight the importance of the measurement of fitness and phenotypes in the field, which can be powerful tools when combined with population genomic analyses.

Keywords: genome-wide association study; local adaptation; population genomics; selection scan; speciation.

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