Plants are sessile organisms and, consequently, are exposed to a plethora of stresses in their local habitat. As a result, different populations of a species are subject to different selection pressures leading to adaptation to local conditions and intraspecific divergence. The annual brassicaceous plant Arabidopsis thaliana is an attractive model for ecologists and evolutionary biologists due to the availability of a large collection of resequenced natural accessions. Accessions of A. thaliana display one of two different life cycle strategies: summer and winter annuals. We exposed a collection of 308 European Arabidopsis accessions, that have been genotyped for 250K SNPs, to a range of stresses: one abiotic stress (drought), four biotic stresses (Pieris rapae caterpillars, Plutella xylostella caterpillars, Frankliniella occidentalis thrips and Myzus persicae aphids) and two combined stresses (drought plus P. rapae and Botrytis cinerea fungus plus P. rapae). We identified heritable genetic variation for responses to the different stresses, estimated by narrow-sense heritability. We found that accessions displaying different life cycle strategies differ in their response to stresses. Winter annuals are more resistant to drought, aphids and thrips and summer annuals are more resistant to P. rapae and P. xylostella caterpillars. Summer annuals are also more resistant to the combined stresses of drought plus P. rapae and infection by the fungus Botryris cinerea plus herbivory by P. rapae. Adaptation to drought displayed a longitudinal gradient. Finally, trade-offs were recorded between the response to drought and responses to herbivory by caterpillars of the specialist herbivore P. rapae.
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- Biotic stress
- Fungal pathogen
- Summer annual
- Winter annual