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Soil environment is a key driver of adaptation in Medicago truncatula: New insights from landscape genomics

Guerrero J., Andrello M., Burgarella C., Manel S.. 2018. New Phytologist, 219 (1) : p. 378-390.

Spatial differences in environmental selective pressures interact with the genomes of organisms, ultimately leading to local adaptation. Landscape genomics is an emergent research area that uncovers genome¿environment associations, thus allowing researchers to identify candidate loci for adaptation to specific environmental variables. In the present study, we used latent factor mixed models (LFMMs) and Moran spectral outlier detection/randomization (MSOD?MSR) to identify candidate loci for adaptation to 10 environmental variables (climatic, soil and atmospheric) among 43 515 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 202 accessions of the model legume Medicago truncatula. Soil variables were associated with a large number of candidate loci identified through both LFMMs and MSOD?MSR. Genes tagged by candidate loci associated with drought and salinity are involved in the response to biotic and abiotic stresses, while those tagged by candidates associated with soil nitrogen and atmospheric nitrogen, participate in the legume?rhizobia symbiosis. Candidate SNPs identified through both LFMMs and MSOD?MSR explained up to 56% of variance in flowering traits. Our findings highlight the importance of soil in driving adaptation in the system and elucidate the basis of evolutionary potential of M. truncatula to respond to global climate change and anthropogenic disruption of the nitrogen cycle.

Mots-clés : région méditerranéenne

Thématique : Ecologie végétale; Génétique et amélioration des plantes

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