Integration of responses within and across Arabidopsis natural accessions uncovers loci controlling root systems architecture

Ulises Rosas, Angelica Cibrian-Jaramillo, Daniela Ristova, Joshua A. Banta, Miriam L. Gifford, Angela Huihui Fan, Royce W. Zhou, Grace Jaeyoon Kim, Gabriel Krouk, Kenneth D. Birnbaum, Michael D. Purugganan, Gloria M. Coruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Phenotypic plasticity is presumed to be involved in adaptive change toward species diversification. We thus examined how candidate genes underlying natural variation across populations might also mediate plasticity within an individual. Our implementation of an integrative "plasticity space" approach revealed that the root plasticity of a single Arabidopsis accession exposed to distinct environments broadly recapitulates the natural variation "space." Genome-wide association mapping identified the known gene PHOSPHATE 1 (PHO1) and other genes such as Root System Architecture 1 (RSA1) associated with differences in root allometry, a highly plastic trait capturing the distribution of lateral roots along the primary axis. The response of mutants in the Columbia-0 background suggests their involvement in signaling key modulators of root development including auxin, abscisic acid, and nitrate. Moreover, genotype-by-environment interactions for the PHO1 and RSA1 genes in Columbia-0 phenocopy the root allometry of other natural variants. This finding supports a role for plasticity responses in phenotypic evolution in natural environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15133-15138
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 10 2013



  • GWAS
  • GxE interaction
  • Morphometrics
  • QTL
  • RootScape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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