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Relationship between genetic and phenotypic variations in natural populations of perennial and biennial sagebrush
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  • Oyundelger Khurelpurev,
  • Lisa Grossmann,
  • Veit Herklotz,
  • Dörte Harpke,
  • Batlai Oyuntsetseg,
  • Karsten Wesche ,
  • Christine Ritz
Oyundelger Khurelpurev
Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Lisa Grossmann
Ministry for Rural DEvelopment Environment and Agriculture Brandenburg
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Veit Herklotz
Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz
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Dörte Harpke
Leibniz-Institut fur Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung Gatersleben
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Batlai Oyuntsetseg
National University of Mongolia
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Karsten Wesche
Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz
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Christine Ritz
Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz
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Plant responses to environmental heterogeneity depend on life-history traits, which could relate to phenotypical and genetic characteristics. To elucidate this relationship, we examined the variation in population genetics and functional traits of short- and a long-lived Artemisia species that are co-occurring in the steppes of Mongolia. Mongolian steppes represent stressful, waterlimited habitats demanding phenotypic modifications in the short term and/or genetic adaptation in the long term. However, detailed knowledge is missing about both plant phenotypic and genetic differentiation and their inter-relationships in temperate grasslands. Here, we investigated 21 populations of the widely distributed subshrub A. frigida and the herbaceous biennial A. scoparia. Genetic variation was assessed with newly developed Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) markers. Functional trait data was collected from each individual, and data on environmental variables was collected for each population. We detected significantly higher genetic diversity in the biennial species (H E =0.86) compared to the perennial (H E =0.79). For both species, the largest share of genetic variation was partitioned within populations (96%). Population genetic structure in the biennial A. scoparia was weak, while the perennial A. frigida showed some spatial genetic structure, which was impacted by geographical factors, soil nutrients, and precipitation. Morphology-related functional traits (i.e., plant height) were predominantly associated with environmental variables rather than with genetic variation, while physiology-related traits (i.e., specific leaf area) were partly genetically determined.
17 Feb 2024Assigned to Editor
17 Feb 2024Submission Checks Completed
24 Feb 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned