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Abstract Detail


Hughes, William [1].

Constrained Evolution of Perenniality: Pleiotropic Effects of PEP1 on Seed Traits in Arabis alpina.

In this work I discuss how pleiotropy affects tradeoffs between flowering traits (i.e. phenology) and seed traits (i.e. longevity and dormancy) in the perennial Arabis alpina (Brassicaceae). Why perenniality or annuality evolves is a key question in life history theory, and has implications for agronomy, since facilitating crop adaptation to drought and climate change requires characterizing traits affecting phenology, seed vigour and yield. Demographic models predict strong selection for high seed longevity and low seed dormancy in monocarpic annual species relative to polycarpic perennials, since annuals overwinter only as seeds, whereas perennials persist both as seeds and mature plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana—an annual—there is strong evidence to suggest that many genes pleiotropically regulate both flowering and seed traits. For example, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC)—which regulates flowering—is also expressed in seeds, and promotes germination at low temperatures. Such pleiotropy may make independent optimization of fitness traits impossible, and may affect the relative fitness of annual and perennial life histories. I report new data assessing the degree to which PERPETUAL FLOWERING 1 (PEP1), the orthologue of FLC in A. alpina, pleiotropically affects seed traits including seed dormancy and longevity.

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1 - Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Carl von Linne Weg 10, Cologne, 50829, Germany

life history strategy
seed dormancy.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 25, Ecology Section: Seed Ecophysiology
Location: 104/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 25006
Abstract ID:775
Candidate for Awards:None

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