Rapid genetic adaptation precedes the spread of an exotic plant species

Katrien Vandepitte, Tim de Meyer, Kenny Helsen, Kasper van Acker, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Joachim Mergeay, Olivier Honnay

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Human activities have increasingly introduced plant species far outside their native ranges under environmental conditions that can strongly differ from those originally met. Therefore, before spreading, and potentially causing ecological and economical damage, non-native species may rapidly evolve. Evidence of genetically based adaptation during the process of becoming invasive is very scant, however, which is due to the lack of knowledge regarding the historical genetic makeup of the introduced populations and the lack of genomic resources. Capitalizing on the availability of old nonnative herbarium specimens, we examined frequency shifts in genic SNPs of the Pyrenean Rocket (Sisymbrium austriacum subsp. chrysanthum), comparing the (i) native, (ii) currently spreading non-native and (iii) historically introduced gene pool. Results show strong divergence in flowering time genes during the establishment phase, indicating that rapid genetic adaptation preceded the spread of this species and
    possibly assisted in overcoming environmental constraints.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftMolecular Ecology
    Pagina's (van-tot)2157-2164
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2014


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