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Data from: Timing of shoot development transitions affects degree of perenniality in Arabidopsis lyrata (Brassicaceae)

Cite this dataset

Remington, David L.; Figueroa, Jennifer; Rane, Mitali (2016). Data from: Timing of shoot development transitions affects degree of perenniality in Arabidopsis lyrata (Brassicaceae) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background: Perenniality is best understood in quantitative terms, involving the relationship between production vs. turnover of meristems, biomass, or energy reserves. Previous quantitative trait locus (QTL) studies using divergent populations of the perennial rock cress Arabidopsis lyrata have shown that trade-offs in vegetative growth vs. reproduction are due to cascading effects of differences in early vegetative development, which contribute to local adaptation. However, details of the developmental differences and how they affect perenniality remained unclear. In this study, we investigated in detail the developmental differences in perenniality between populations. A. lyrata from Norway and North Carolina populations, representing contrasting environments and degrees of perenniality, were grown under controlled conditions, and data were collected on plant phenology and shoot-level development. We tested hypotheses that differences in perenniality involve strict allocation of lateral meristems to vegetative vs. reproductive fates, or alternatively quantitative effects of pre-reproductive vegetative development. Results: The two populations showed large differences in the degree of vegetative development on individual shoots prior to reproductive transitions. The number of leaves produced on shoots prior to bolting, and not strict meristem allocation or variation in apical dominance, was able to explain variation in the number of inflorescences on individual plants. These results suggested that allocation of time to shoot vegetative vs. reproductive development could be a major factor in resource allocation differences between the populations. Conclusions: Based on these results and those of previous QTL studies, we propose a model in which the degree of shoot vegetative development shapes the developmental context for reproduction and subsequent vegetative growth in different environments. Climate-specific effects of shoot development patterns on reproductive output and survival may result in divergent evolutionary trajectories along a perenniality continuum, which may have broader relevance for plant life history evolution.

Usage notes


North Carolina (USA)