University of Oulu

Emmi Alakärppä, Heikki M Salo, Luis Valledor, Maria Jesús Cañal, Hely Häggman, Jaana Vuosku, Natural variation of DNA methylation and gene expression may determine local adaptations of Scots pine populations, Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 69, Issue 21, 12 October 2018, Pages 5293–5305, https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ery292

Natural variation of DNA methylation and gene expression may determine local adaptations of Scots pine populations

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Author: Alakärppä, Emmi1; Salo, Heikki M.1; Valledor, Luis2;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2019040511213
Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-08-03
Description:

Abstract

Long-lived conifers are vulnerable to climate change because classical evolutionary processes are slow in developing adaptive responses. Therefore, the capacity of a genotype to adopt different phenotypes is important. Gene expression is the primary mechanism that converts genome-encoded information into phenotypes, and DNA methylation is employed in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. We investigated variations in global DNA methylation and gene expression between three Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) populations located in northern and southern Finland using mature seeds. Gene expression levels were studied in six DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) genes, which were characterized in this study, and in 19 circadian clock genes regulating adaptive traits. In embryos, expression diversity was found for three DNMT genes, which maintain DNA methylation. The expression of two DNMT genes was strongly correlated with climate variables, which suggests a role for DNA methylation in local adaptation. For adaptation-related genes, expression levels showed between-population variation in 11 genes in megagametophytes and in eight genes in embryos, and many of these genes were linked to climate factors. Altogether, our results suggest that differential DNA methylation and gene expression contribute to local adaptation in Scots pine populations and may enhance the fitness of trees under rapidly changing climatic conditions.

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Series: Journal of experimental botany
ISSN: 0022-0957
ISSN-E: 1460-2431
ISSN-L: 0022-0957
Volume: 69
Issue: 21
Pages: 5293 - 5305
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ery292
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1093/jxb/ery292
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Subjects:
Funding: The research was funded by the Thule Institute (to EA and HH) and by grants from the Niemi Foundation (to EA, HMS and JV), the University of Oulu Graduate School (to EA) and the Foundation for Forest Tree Breeding (to JV). LV was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through Ramón y Cajal Programme (RYC-2015-17871).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Botany following peer review. The version of record Emmi Alakärppä, Heikki M Salo, Luis Valledor, Maria Jesús Cañal, Hely Häggman, Jaana Vuosku, Natural variation of DNA methylation and gene expression may determine local adaptations of Scots pine populations, Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 69, Issue 21, 12 October 2018, Pages 5293–5305 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ery292.