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Data from: Bimodality of stable and plastic traits in plants

Cite this dataset

Fisher, Josef; Bensal, Elad; Zamir, Dani (2018). Data from: Bimodality of stable and plastic traits in plants [Dataset]. Dryad.


We challenged archived genetic mapping data for 36 fruit, seed, flower and yield traits in tomato and found an unexpected bimodal distribution in one measure of trait variability, the mean coefficient of variation, with some traits being consistently more variable than others. To determine the degree of conservation of this distribution among higher plants, we compared 18 homologous phenotypes, including yield and seed production, across different crop species grown in a common ‘crop garden’ experiment. The set included 32 varieties of tomato, eggplant, pepper, melon, watermelon, sunflower and maize. Estimates of canalization were obtained using a ‘canalization replication’ experimental design that generated multiple estimates of the coefficient of variation of traits, as well as their reaction norms in optimal and water-stressed field plots. A common pattern of bimodal distribution of stable and plastic traits was observed for all the varieties, and a wild weed (Solanum nigrum). We propose that canalization profiles of traits in a variety of taxa were ancestrally selected to maximize adaptation and reproductive success

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