Plasticity Regulators Modulate Specific Root Traits in Discrete Nitrogen Environments

Miriam L. Gifford, Joshua A. Banta, Manpreet S. Katari, Jo Hulsmans, Lisa Chen, Daniela Ristova, Daniel Tranchina, Michael D. Purugganan, Gloria M. Coruzzi, Kenneth D. Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plant development is remarkably plastic but how precisely can the plant customize its form to specific environments? When the plant adjusts its development to different environments, related traits can change in a coordinated fashion, such that two traits co-vary across many genotypes. Alternatively, traits can vary independently, such that a change in one trait has little predictive value for the change in a second trait. To characterize such "tunability" in developmental plasticity, we carried out a detailed phenotypic characterization of complex root traits among 96 accessions of the model Arabidopsis thaliana in two nitrogen environments. The results revealed a surprising level of independence in the control of traits to environment - a highly tunable form of plasticity. We mapped genetic architecture of plasticity using genome-wide association studies and further used gene expression analysis to narrow down gene candidates in mapped regions. Mutants in genes implicated by association and expression analysis showed precise defects in the predicted traits in the predicted environment, corroborating the independent control of plasticity traits. The overall results suggest that there is a pool of genetic variability in plants that controls traits in specific environments, with opportunity to tune crop plants to a given environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1003760
JournalPLoS Genetics
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

plasticity
Nitrogen
nitrogen
Plant Development
crop plant
gene
Genome-Wide Association Study
Arabidopsis
Genes
Plastics
gene expression
defect
plant development
genotype
genes
Arabidopsis thaliana
genome
plastics
plastic
Genotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Gifford, M. L., Banta, J. A., Katari, M. S., Hulsmans, J., Chen, L., Ristova, D., ... Birnbaum, K. D. (2013). Plasticity Regulators Modulate Specific Root Traits in Discrete Nitrogen Environments. PLoS Genetics, 9(9), [e1003760]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003760

Plasticity Regulators Modulate Specific Root Traits in Discrete Nitrogen Environments. / Gifford, Miriam L.; Banta, Joshua A.; Katari, Manpreet S.; Hulsmans, Jo; Chen, Lisa; Ristova, Daniela; Tranchina, Daniel; Purugganan, Michael D.; Coruzzi, Gloria M.; Birnbaum, Kenneth D.

In: PLoS Genetics, Vol. 9, No. 9, e1003760, 09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gifford ML, Banta JA, Katari MS, Hulsmans J, Chen L, Ristova D et al. Plasticity Regulators Modulate Specific Root Traits in Discrete Nitrogen Environments. PLoS Genetics. 2013 Sep;9(9). e1003760. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003760
Gifford, Miriam L. ; Banta, Joshua A. ; Katari, Manpreet S. ; Hulsmans, Jo ; Chen, Lisa ; Ristova, Daniela ; Tranchina, Daniel ; Purugganan, Michael D. ; Coruzzi, Gloria M. ; Birnbaum, Kenneth D. / Plasticity Regulators Modulate Specific Root Traits in Discrete Nitrogen Environments. In: PLoS Genetics. 2013 ; Vol. 9, No. 9.
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