Street, Nathaniel Robert, Skogström, Oskar, Sjödin, Andreas, Tucker, James, Rodriguez-Acosta, Maricela, Nisson, Peter, Jansson, Stefan and Taylor, Gail
The genetics and genomics of the drought response in Populus
Plant Journal, 48, (3), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02864.x).
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The genetic nature of tree adaptation to drought stress was examined by utilizing variation in the drought
response of a full-sib second generation (F2) mapping population from a cross between Populus trichocarpa
(93-968) and P. deltoides Bart (ILL-129) and known to be highly divergent for a vast range of phenotypic traits.
We combined phenotyping, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and microarray experiments to demonstrate
that ‘genetical genomics’ can be used to provide information on adaptation at the species level. The
grandparents and F2 population were subjected to soil drying, and contrasting responses to drought across
genotypes, including leaf coloration, expansion and abscission, were observed, and QTL for these traits
mapped. A subset of extreme genotypes exhibiting extreme sensitivity and insensitivity to drought on the
basis of leaf abscission were defined, and microarray experiments conducted on these genotypes and the
grandparent species. The extreme genotype groups induced a different set of genes: 215 and 125 genes differed
in their expression response between groups in control and drought, respectively, suggesting species
adaptation at the gene expression level. Co-location of differentially expressed genes with drought-specific
and drought-responsive QTLs was examined, and these may represent candidate genes contributing to the
variation in drought response.
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