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    Author(s): R. C. Johnson; K. Vance-Borland
    Date: 2016
    Source: PLoS ONE. 11: e0148982.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Few studies have assessed how ploidy type within a species affects genetic variation among populations in relation to source climates. Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus (Scribn. & Merr.) A. Love) is a large bunchgrass common in the intermountain Western U.S. found in both octoploid and tetraploid types. In common gardens at two sites over two years differences in both ploidy type and genetic variation within ploidy were observed in phenology, morphology, and production traits on 57 octoploid and 52 tetraploid basin wildrye from the intermountain Western U.S. (P<0.01). Octoploids had larger leaves, longer culms, and greater crown circumference than tetraploids but the numerical ranges of plant traits and their source climates overlapped between ploidy types. Still, among populations octoploids often had greater genetic variation for traits and occupied more diverse climates than tetraploids. Genetic variation for both ploidy types was linked to source climates in canonical correlation analysis, with the first two variates explaining 70%of the variation. Regression of those canonical variates with seed source climate variables produced models that explained 64% and 38%of the variation, respectively, and were used to map 15 seed zones covering 673258 km2. Utilization of these seed zones will help ensure restoration with adaptive seed sources for both ploidy types. The link between genetic traits and seed source climates suggests climate driven natural selection and adaptive evolution in basin wildrye. The more diverse climates occupied by octoploids and higher trait variation suggests a higher capacity for ecological differentiation than tetraploids in the intermountain Western U.S.

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    Johnson, R. C.; Vance-Borland, K. 2016. Linking genetic variation in adaptive plant traits to climate in tetraploid and octoploid basin wildrye [Leymus cinereus (Scribn. & Merr.) A. Love] in the western U.S. PLoS ONE. 11: e0148982.


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    climate, basin wildlrye, Leymus cinereus, population

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