Please join us for the next virtual seminar of the IBENS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology section given by Prof. Avraham Levy, Weizmann
Institute of Science, on March 23rd 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
You can join at: https://bbb.bio.ens.psl.eu/b/pie-j72-u9w
Temporal and spatial genetic diversity of a wild wheat population
Long-term studies of natural populations, especially those involving genetic data, are an invaluable tool for capturing the full dynamics of populations as they respond to a changing environment. However, there is currently an acute shortage of studies that have examined populations for more than a few years. Here we take advantage of a population of wild emmer wheat, a wild progenitor of modern wheat, located near kibbutz Ammiad in northern Israel for which seeds have been intensively sampled since 1984. During this 36-year period, local temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration have risen steadily, providing a unique opportunity to assess the temporal evolution of a wild population under climate change. We genotyped 922 plants from four transects using a reduced-representation genotype-by-sequencing approach. Although the population is highly polymorphic, we find clear clusters of identical genotypes in space that are remarkably stable through time. Simulations indicate that this structuring cannot be accounted for by limited dispersal and genetic drift alone. Moreover, observed clustering corresponds to micro-habitats, suggestive of adaptation to ecological niches on a very fine scale. Despite this, there is some evidence of a few genotypes increasing in frequency through time, which may reflect
adaptation to new climatic conditions. Together, our results indicate that genetic diversity in this population is primarily shaped by environmental heterogeneity and has been resilient to the climatic changes observed in the last four decades. We also discuss the implication of these findings for biodiversity in situ conservation strategies.
Host : Chris Bowler