Fitness effects associated with the major flowering time gene FRIGIDA in Arabidopsis thaliana in the field.

Tonia M. Korves, Karl J. Schmid, Ana L. Caicedo, Charlotte Mays, John R. Stinchcombe, Michael D. Purugganan, Johanna Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To date, the effect of natural selection on candidate genes underlying complex traits has rarely been studied experimentally, especially under ecologically realistic conditions. Here we report that the effect of selection on the flowering time gene FRIGIDA (FRI) reverses depending on the season of germination and allelic variation at the interacting gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). In field studies of 136 European accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, accessions with putatively functional FRI alleles had higher winter survival in one FLC background in a fall-germinating cohort, but accessions with deletion null FRI alleles had greater seed production in the other FLC background in a spring-germinating cohort. Consistent with FRI's role in flowering, selection analyses suggest that the difference in winter survival can be attributed to time to bolting. However, in the spring cohort, the fitness difference was associated with rosette size. Our analyses also reveal that controlling for population structure with estimates of inferred ancestry and a geographical restriction was essential for detecting fitness associations. Overall, our results suggest that the combined effects of seasonally varying selection and epistasis could explain the maintenance of variation at FRI and, more generally, may be important in the evolution of genes underlying complex traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume169
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

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Arabidopsis
flowering
fitness
Arabidopsis thaliana
gene
overwintering
Genes
allele
genes
Alleles
seed productivity
epistasis
bolting
null alleles
Genetic Selection
winter
seed production
Germination
natural selection
ancestry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Fitness effects associated with the major flowering time gene FRIGIDA in Arabidopsis thaliana in the field. / Korves, Tonia M.; Schmid, Karl J.; Caicedo, Ana L.; Mays, Charlotte; Stinchcombe, John R.; Purugganan, Michael D.; Schmitt, Johanna.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 169, No. 5, 05.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Korves, Tonia M. ; Schmid, Karl J. ; Caicedo, Ana L. ; Mays, Charlotte ; Stinchcombe, John R. ; Purugganan, Michael D. ; Schmitt, Johanna. / Fitness effects associated with the major flowering time gene FRIGIDA in Arabidopsis thaliana in the field. In: American Naturalist. 2007 ; Vol. 169, No. 5.
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