DNA sequence variation and selection of tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms at candidate genes for drought-stress response in Pinus taeda L.
Genetic association studies are rapidly becoming the experimental approach of choice to dissect complex traits, including tolerance to drought stress, which is the most common cause of mortality and yield losses in forest trees. Optimization of association mapping requires knowledge of the patterns of nucleotide diversity and linkage disequilibrium and the selection of suitable polymorphisms for genotyping. Moreover, standard neutrality tests applied to DNA sequence variation data can be used to select candidate genes or amino acid sites that are putatively under selection for association mapping. In this article, we study the pattern of polymorphism of 18 candidate genes for drought-stress response in Pinus taeda L., an important tree crop. Data analyses based on a set of 21 putatively neutral nuclear microsatellites did not show population genetic structure or genomewide departures from neutrality. Candidate genes had moderate average nucleotide diversity at silent sites (pi(sil) = 0.00853), varying 100-fold among single genes. The level of within-gene LD was low, with an average pairwise r2 of 0.30, decaying rapidly from approximately 0.50 to approximately 0.20 at 800 bp. No apparent LD among genes was found. A selective sweep may have occurred at the early-response-to-drought-3 (erd3) gene, although population expansion can also explain our results and evidence for selection was not conclusive. One other gene, ccoaomt-1, a methylating enzyme involved in lignification, showed dimorphism (i.e., two highly divergent haplotype lineages at equal frequency), which is commonly associated with the long-term action of balancing selection. Finally, a set of haplotype-tagging SNPs (htSNPs) was selected. Using htSNPs, a reduction of genotyping effort of approximately 30-40%, while sampling most common allelic variants, can be gained in our ongoing association studies for drought tolerance in pine. (+info)
Mortality, recruitment and change of desert tree populations in a hyper-arid environment.
BACKGROUND: Long-term vegetation changes in hyper-arid areas have long been neglected. Mortality, recruitment and change in populations of the ecologically and culturally important and drought persistent Acacia tortilis and Balanites aegyptiaca are therefore estimated in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, and are related to the primary agents of change, water conditions and human intervention. METHODOLOGY: A change analysis using high-resolution Corona images (1965) in combination with field data (2003) is the basis for recruitment, mortality and change estimates. For assessing the influence of water conditions on patterns in recruitment and survival, different types of generalized linear models are tested. CONCLUSIONS: The overall trend in population size in that part of the Eastern Desert studied here is negative. At some sites this negative trend is alarming, because the reduction in mature trees is substantial (>50%) at the same time as recruitment is nearly absent. At a few sites there is a positive trend and better recruitment. Frequent observations of sprouting in saplings indicate that this is an important mechanism to increase their persistence. It is the establishment itself that seems to be the main challenge in the recruitment process. There are indications that hydrological variables and surface water in particular can explain some of the observed pattern in mortality, but our results indicate that direct human intervention, i.e., charcoal production, is the main cause of tree mortality in the Eastern Desert. (+info)
Pepper pectin methylesterase inhibitor protein CaPMEI1 is required for antifungal activity, basal disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance.