Determining the scale at which variation in a single gene changes population yields
Morales Jiménez, Jesús Israel
Schuman, Meredith C.
Baldwin, Ian T.
"Plant trait diversity is known to influence population yield, but the scale at which this happens remains unknown: divergent individuals might change yields of immediate neighbors (neighbor scale) or of plants across a population (population scale). We use Nicotiana attenuata plants silenced in mitogen-activated protein kinase 4 (irMPK4) - with low water-use efficiency (WUE) - to study the scale at which water-use traits alter intraspecific population yields. In the field and glasshouse, we observed overyielding in populations with low percentages of irMPK4 plants, unrelated to water-use phenotypes. Paired-plant experiments excluded the occurrence of overyielding effects at the neighbor scale. Experimentally altering field arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal associations by silencing the Sym-pathway gene NaCCaMK did not affect reproductive overyielding, implicating an effect independent of belowground AMF interactions. Additionally, micro-grafting experiments revealed dependence on shoot-expressed MPK4 for N. attenuata to vary its yield per neighbor presence. We find that variation in a single gene, MPK4, is responsible for population overyielding through a mechanism, independent of irMPK4抯 WUE phenotype, at the aboveground, population scale."
Knowledge areaCIENCIAS DE LA VIDA
PublishereLife Sciences Publications, Ltd.